Armed police storm house fearing owner Ian Driscoll had mortar after he posted picture of 6in-tall Action Man weapon on Facebook

February 13th, 20136:27 pm @


  • Ian Driscoll posted photo of Action Man as his profile picture on Facebook
  • In the background was a toy mortar gun, about six inches tall
  • More than a month later, five officers, including two armed with submachine guns, arrived at his home

James Rush

15:24, 13 February 2013


18:22, 13 February 2013

Stormed: Armed police raced to the home of Ian Driscoll (pictured) after he posted a new profile picture on Facebook featuring an Action Man, along with a toy mortar gun in the background

Armed police who stormed to a house after reports of a mortar gun discovered it was an Action Man toy.

Police wielding submachine guns raced to the home of Ian Driscoll, 43, after he posted a new profile picture on Facebook.

Mr Driscoll’s picture showed an Action Man plastic figure and in the background was a toy mortar gun, around six inches tall.

The mortar gun was next to a TV remote control clearly showing its small size but someone who saw it contacted police.

Five officers, including two armed with submachine guns, then arrived at his home in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire.

Mr Driscoll said after showing them the offending toy the police apologised and left – but still managed to ‘see the funny side’.

Mr Driscoll said: ‘I was shocked and stunned. It was just mad. Five officers turned up in unmarked police cars.

‘They flashed the search warrant in my face and said it was lucky I was in so they didn’t have to break my door down.

‘Everyone has been laughing about it and I think it’s funny. It’s so stupid.

‘The Action Man looked a bit like me so I decided to put it as my Facebook picture. I didn’t even notice the mortar in the background.

‘Over a month later, the cops were threatening to bust down my door. I couldn’t believe someone thought it was real.

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

Mr Driscoll decided to use an Action Man as a profile picture because he says he looks a bit like the famous figures.

Cause of alarm? The Facebook profile picture of Mr Driscoll showing an action man and his model mortar

He also owns an Alsatian and so used the Action Man and plastic toy dog as his profile picture for a ‘laugh’.

But in the background of the picture leaning against a skirting board is a model mortar – which you can clearly see is the same size as a remote control.

He posted the picture on December 7 – and cops arrived at his home on January 28.

‘I think it’s hilarious’: Mr Driscoll said he couldn’t believe someone thought the gun was real and reported it to the police

A Gloucestershire police spokeswoman said: ‘The information was given to us in good faith and we acted with good intentions.

‘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.

‘The officers attending were hugely relieved that it wasn’t anything more sinister and we would much rather have a result like this than to put the public in harms way by not taking action.’

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