SECURITY at council offices has been beefed up after a man with an airgun walked in to reception to appeal a parking ticket.
The man, who has not been named, had taken the weapon to a shop after parking directly outside it but was then ticketed, the council told The News.
Our staff have been commended for handling the incident calmly and appropriatelyCouncil spokesman
It happened at Penns Place, in Petersfield, at 11.26am.
An East Hampshire District Council spokesman said the man had not threatened anyone and only had the weapon to prove why he had parked outside the shop.
He added: ‘He was using it as evidence to say why he had to park where he did. It was a nonthreatening episode.’
In a statement the spokesman said: ‘Our staff have been commended for handling the incident calmly and appropriately.
‘The matter has now been turned over to the police.
‘All staff were informed about the incident and we have spoken to the staff involved in the incident and offered further support if required.
‘Our emergency and lone worker procedures are regularly reviewed and we are confident they are fit for purpose and we have also taken measures to increase security.’
A Hampshire police spokesman said enquiries are ongoing over the incident on November 22.
He added: ‘The man walked into the reception area holding the weapon towards the ceiling stating that it was not loaded and that he wanted to present the weapon as part of a dispute about a parking ticket.
‘He then placed it on the counter whilst talking to staff.
‘The man stated that he had parked in a particular area to ensure that he did not have to walk through the town centre with the weapon and had been issued a ticket at that time.
‘This matter will be considered by parking officers from East Hampshire District Council.
‘No threats were made and the man returned the air weapon to his vehicle when he was requested to do so.
‘Council staff then informed Hampshire Constabulary as the weapon had been seen in a public place, however there was no concern raised for anyone’s welfare.’
The council is considering the man’s appeal over his ticket.