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Police warn about use of replica weapons following string of incidents

THE NETHERLANDS. Dutch police dealt with 350 incidents involving fake weapons in the first five months of this year, the AD said on Monday. This is a ‘slight rise’ compared with last year, according to a police press release.

On Wednesday, for example, a 14-year-old boy was picked up in Zoetermeer with a fake gun and a week ago, police drew their weapons when another youth was seen walking around with a replica pistol in Voorburg, the AD said. There have also been incidents in Eindhoven, Breda and Waalre in recent days.

‘These replicas are often impossible to distinguish from the real thing,’ the police statement said. ‘This is certainly the case for the officer on the street who has to take a split-second decision whether or not to intervene.’ The police on Monday launched an 11 day campaign to warn people about the dangers presented by replica guns.

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