A 13-YEAR-OLD thug was reprimanded by police after he shot a young girl in the face with a BB gun while out playing with his friends.

The girl suffered facial injuries, with the pellet striking her near her right eye, and was left shocked by the incident at around 5pm on Saturday in Green Park near Torun Way.

The police were called and response officers attended to find the victim with her friends, while one of the group of boys returned to the scene with his father to apologise.

He was given strong words of advice and was dealt with by local resolution – a non-criminal approach – at the behest of the victim. The gun was described as bright orange.

A police spokesman said: “A 13-year-old boy has been reprimanded after he shot at a girl with a BB gun at the weekend. The girl was hit close to her eye while she was in the Green Park near Torun Way, Haydon End.

“The victim was in the park with her friends when it was reported a group of boys had assaulted them with a BB gun and an orange-coloured Nerf gun.” Officers attended the scene and one of the boys turned up with his dad to apologise. He was spoken to and dealt with by local resolution, which was ok with the victim.

“We would appeal to parents and carers who allow children to have these toys to make them aware of the potential dangers, and ensure they do not fire them in public places.

“We would remind members of the public that any weapon can pose a real risk of injury.

“Toy guns which are bought for recreational purposes can be dangerous and any threatening, reckless or criminal incident involving one will be treated seriously by Wiltshire Police.”

It is not the first time an imitation firearm has harmed innocent bystanders in the town, as in April 2012 barman Tony Blackford was shot in the face by a gang of youths performing drive-by shootings with a paintball gun.

Aaron White, then 20 of Westmorland Road, was jailed for a year for the offence last January.

Wiltshire Police firearms officers regularly tour schools to talk about the dangers of knives and guns under the force’s FAKE programme. In it they warn of the dangers of carrying weapons and demonstrate the police response to such incidents where there is a realistic looking imitation firearm.

Anyone worried or unsure of the law around imitiation firearms can visit www.wiltshire.police.uk