Three people shot in Gosport as police hunt BB gun gang targeting houses and vehicles
THREE people have been shot with a BB gun and house windows were smashed by a gang of four teenage boys wearing school uniform, police have said.
Earlier this month a 62-year-old woman was struck on the leg as she walked along Pump Lane in Gosport just as she spotted two youths cycling in the area.
Then on the same day, March 4, at 3.30pm a 42-year-old man was hit on the shoulder as he walked in Grove Road. Minutes later at 3.35pm a 39-year-old woman was hit on her shoulder in Avery Lane.
Gosport police have warned since March cars and homes have been damaged by what could have been a BB gun.
Just this weekend windows on three houses in Elson Road, Gosport, were smashed.
One was shot at on Sunday at 2.40am.
Homes and vehicles have been damaged in Dormy Way, Rowallan Avenue, The Drive, Maynard Close, Grove Road, Gregson Avenue, Marine Parade, and Raynes Road.
A police spokesman said: 'Some of these reports of criminal damage refer to a group of four teenage boys. One of them had untidy, blonde, curly hair. All of them were wearing what appeared to be, or similar to, a school uniform.'
BB guns are often used as part of a sport called airsoft. The activity sees participants taking part in a range of military-themed games and has become increasingly popular in Hampshire, with several sites operating across the area.
Russ Banks runs both the Combat South airsoft site in Fareham and shop in Airport Service Road, Copnor.
He was frustrated by the news and said: ‘This is extremely dangerous. These people are stupid and idiotic.
‘It certainly won’t be anyone from our sport or any of the airsoft sites around here. We’d never behave like that.
‘It’s probably some kid who has bought a BB gun from a market. Our guns are controlled very well and only sold to people we know are active airsofters.’
Inspector Richard Thompson said local police have stepped up their patrols in the area and have been speaking to teenagers following the attacks.
He added: ‘We will also be speaking to local schools as part of our enquiries.
'This type of anti-social behaviour is very serious as it could leave someone with a permanent injury if they were hit in the face, thankfully no-one has been hurt.
'BB guns can be virtually impossible to differentiate from the real thing for members of the public, especially at a distance.
'I would ask parents to speak to their children about this issue so that they understand the impact of these offences on the local community.'
Anyone with information should call police on 101 quoting 44190077043.