Armed response is triggered by paintballing duo

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A POLICE chase involving armed officers and a chopper swung into action when two men were spotted in a car with an assault rifle.

But following a half-hour operation the pair were pulled over in Box Lane, Hemel Hempstead, where the weapon was found to be a paintball gun.

The duo were spotted by an off-duty officer in Bricket Wood last Tuesday afternoon ‘in possession of what was described as an automatic rifle’.

A patrol car caught up with the convertible red BMW and followed it on the M25 and A41 while the helicopter was scrambled.

The men were followed onto Box Lane, where there is a paintball range, and the decision was then taken to stop the car.

Herts police spokesman Sarah Spence said: “We stopped the vehicle and confirmed it was a paintball weapon.

“It was very realistic looking. No offence was committed but advice was given to the occupants of the car. They were obviously off paintballing.”