Action Man photo sparks security fears

A UK man's Facebook photo of an Action Man doll with a toy weapon has sparked security fears, prompting armed police officers to raid his home.

Ian Driscoll from Gloucestershire, in south-west England, told Britain's Daily Mail he was shocked when five officers, two armed with submachine guns, turned up at his home last month searching for the mortar pictured in his Facebook photo.

The "weapon" was in fact a six-inch toy which had been pictured next to an Action Man doll and a toy Alsatian in Mr Driscoll's photo and had been posted online more than a month earlier.

After leading officers to the toy, 43-year-old Ian Driscoll said officers apologised and left his home.

"I couldn’t believe someone thought it was real," he told the Daily Mail.

"It’s tiny and quite clearly a toy. I can’t stop laughing. I think it’s hilarious."

Mr Driscoll, a model maker, had posted the photo because he looks like the toy character and owns an Alsatian. A games console and television remote are also pictured in the background of the photo, giving away the small size of the toy weapon.

He said officers saw the funny side of his ordeal, despite turning up heavily armed in unmarked police cars.

Gloucestershire police spokesman Alexa Collicott told the Daily Mail the information was given to police "in good faith" and officers were "hugely relived" the weapon was only a toy.

"We are sure that the community would rather we acted quickly on information given to us of this nature, in case it had turned out to be a weapon," Ms Collicott said.

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