An eight-year-old boy found a loaded shotgun while out playing today.
Armed police were deployed after the child found the gun in a fenced-off area outside an electrical generator and took it to his grandmother.
A search of the area in Knotty Ash, Merseyside, was conducted after police were called at about 2.20pm.
Chief Inspector Peter Clark, of Merseyside Police, said: ‘On this occasion the young boy has been extremely lucky that he hasn’t come to any harm after finding this gun.
‘He managed to take the weapon to his grandma who rightly called the police straightaway – but it sends shivers down my spine to think what could have happened.
‘It is hugely worrying that whilst children are out playing that they can find such a dangerous weapon like this.
‘I would urge anyone that has seen someone acting suspiciously to get in touch with us. It is not safe at all to handle guns, store, use or hide guns.
‘If you know who this might belong to, get in touch quoting crime ref: 20000361262 and if you know anyone involved in criminal activity, let us know.’