Youth with ‘knife’ sparked police hunt ahead of Pumpkin Festival

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Police were called to Spalding town centre yesterday afternoon after a report of a youth brandishing a knife at a small child.

Officers were alerted of the incident involving a 4ft 6ins youth in Hall Place at about 4.15pm, ahead of the town’s Pumpkin Festival, when thousands of people were expected for the event due to start shortly afterwards.

Sgt Stuart Hurst joined the investigation to support officers preparing for the influx of visitors.

He said: “The youth was found and his parents informed. The knife was a harmless toy being sold on the market.

“It was not real but had a retractable blade and was very lifelike. It was not illegal but our concern was festival visitors might feel threatened by others sold on the night and report incidents that could divert officers who might be needed elsewhere.”

For a full report and pictures of the day’s police operation, see next week’s Spalding Guardian.