A MAN who discovered a live shotgun cartridge lying on an Oxford street has warned neighbours to stay on the alert.

Iffley resident Patrick Moutia was visiting his daughter when he came upon a suspicious object lying on the ground at Wentworth Road, Cutteslowe at about 9am on December 23.

Initially the voluntary worker thought it was a discarded lighter but on closer inspection it became clear that the item was a lethal round of 12-gauge shotgun ammunition.

The 49-year old told Oxford Mail: “When I picked it up my thought was this is a really dangerous item and what if a child had come across it and picked it up?

“I was shocked at how it got there and asked myself did it fall from a licensed gun holder or not.

“My main concern was if a child had found this it would be very easy to set it off.”

Mr Moutia said he recognised the cartridge after growing up with parents serving in the Royal Air Force, and with him visiting rifle ranges.

He added that a quick Google search was enough to identify the round and that any child or teenager could very quickly recognise it from television and video games.

Thames Valley Police were contacted when the round was discovered and collected it from Mr Moutia that day.

Police spokesperson Gareth Ford-Lloyd said: “Thankfully within Oxford incidents involving firearms are rare and we are not aware of this being linked to any incidents and there was no danger to the public.”

In November, a two-week guns and ammo amnesty across Oxfordshire saw 117 weapons and pieces of ammunition handed in to police.

Items surrendered included antique weapons and BB guns.

Under the Firearms Rules 1998 shotgun owners must store ammunition ‘securely’ or face prosecution with a maximum prison sentence of six months and a fine.

Home Office guidance defines secure storage as inside a locked guns cabinet or secure container.