Be careful what you fish for...Police warn Northamptonshire treasure-hunters over weapons finds

Guns, grenades and World War Two shells have all be landed from local waterways

Sunday, 2nd May 2021, 7:46 am
A selection of potentially dangerous objects magnet anglers have fished out of Northamptonshire's waterways

Magnet anglers fishing old weapons out of Northamptonshire's waterways are being told ... DON'T TOUCH!

Fishing for potentially valuable metal objects submerged in canals and rivers is gaining in popularity with thousands uploading videos of their finds on YouTube.

Former Northampton and England rugby star James Haskell is among those who are self-confessed treasure-huntiers.

But Northamptonshire Police say anyone landing discarded weapons or ammunition should follow three simple rules — put them down, move away and call 999.

Already this year, bomb squad experts have dealt with a hand grenade and a World War Two shell fished out of local canals rivers.

Superintendent Kevin Mulligan said: “There are all sorts of things that can be pulled from waterways when magnet fishing, including dangerous objects or items which may have been used in crime.

“Rather than risk anyone’s safety, or potentially contaminating evidence, if you find a weapon of any sort, or something which may be a form of explosive device, please leave it exactly where you found it and call us right away so it can be safely and properly recovered.

This World War Two shell was fished out near Welford during March this year

“We’ve previously had people pull items including firearms from rivers in Northamptonshire and then bring them in to police stations.

"Getting them to the police is the right thing to do, but handling or moving things like this obviously carries a risk of harm or even arrest if you’re seen or found carrying it.

“Magnet fishing is becoming more and more popular and with the vast number of waterways we have, we want to highlight this advice so people can enjoy their hobby safely.”

Northamptonshire Police said that although there are no laws against magnet fishing, they would ask fishers to exercise "due care" when handling objects — such as unexploded bombs.

They also warn that picking up guns or knives fished out could destroy vital evidence if the weapons have been used in crimes.