Police say Sutton Bridge man broke byelaw by being on firing range during operation

A man will appear in court after going on to the RAF Holbeach firing range while it was operational.

Alistair Paton of New Road, Sutton Bridge will appear in Boston Magistrates’ Court at a later date due to him contravening a local byelaw surrounding the MOD practice range on Monday, January 22.

The 57-year-old could be set for a £500 fine as a result.

A spokesman for Lincolnshire Police said: “On Monday January 22, we received reports that a 57-year-old man had entered a prohibited area of The Gunnery Range at RAF Holbeach.

“He was believed to have been on a moped and entered the area during operating hours.

“The Gunnery Range at RAF Holbeach, located near the village of Gedney Drove End, stretches for a considerable distance and has been an active site since 1926.

“A byelaw has been in place since 1939 to protect the site and access is prohibited during hours of operation. This is signified by the raising of red flags along the boundary site.

“There is a public right of way along the sea wall with signs around the area reminding visitors of the dangers the site poses.”

South Holland community beat manager PC Jon Cummins said: “Whilst there are brilliant opportunities for both aircraft and wildlife enthusiasts at The Gunnery Range, we would like to remind visitors that the site is an active military range.

“It is not uncommon for the site to receive only a few minutes’ notice prior to live ammunition being used at the range, so if you are visiting, please exercise caution. Keep an eye out for the red flags which should tell you the site is in operation and please do not go beyond the signs.”

Maj (Retd) Tim Stearne, Training Safety Officer for the East Coast MOD Air Weapons Ranges, said: “Military activities pose a safety risk to the general public so we’d ask that you follow the rules when out enjoying the area.

“Our message is simple. Only access military land when and where it is safe to do so, and with caution at all times, and please read and obey all red flags and signage.”

Leave a Reply