Police seize toy gun and picnic knife from swimmers at Hampstead Heath lido
- Credit: Archant
Toy guns, picnic knives and builders’ tools were some of the forbidden items seized at Parliament Hill Lido last year after security was increased following a brawl in which two teenagers were stabbed in 2012.
The blades and other banned objects include a blue plastic handgun taken from people attempting to enter the lido by officers stationed at its entrance.
Details of the items were released as part of a review of the Hampstead Heath Constabulary’s work in 2013 which was published last week.
Richard Gentry, head of the constabulary, said: “Sometimes it’s just people going in with picnics, who will take sharp knives to cut up bits of cheese.
“We also took a Stanley knife off a builder who had been working on a job somewhere and wanted to have a dip.
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“We recover the items from individuals and dispose of them accordingly. It’s about ensuring that the facility is safe and people using it are safe.”
The constabulary used a knife arch metal detector for the first time last year on hot days when the pool was busy.
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It was introduced following the knifing of two boys inside the pool after a fight broke out in July 2012.
A 16-year-old boy was stabbed in the abdomen and a 19-year-old knifed in the buttocks.
The constabulary, which has two police sergeants and 10 constables, dealt with 1,290 incidents across the Heath last year.
These included a bomb scare in April that was triggered when a car containing gas cylinders filled with used vegetable oil was left overnight.
“The owner of the car was going to make his own biodiesel,” Mr Gentry said.