A haul of brand new BB guns worth almost £2,000 was discovered abandoned in Highams Park by puzzled council bin collectors.

Police are investigating whether or not the 31 M16-style assault rifles were stolen or simply discarded.

The Well brand replica guns, which retail at about £60 each, were found in their original packaging in two separate piles in Ducket Road and Cavendish Road, on Wednesday, January 15.

Investigating officers today announced the discovery in the hope of tracing the owners and shedding more light on the guns’ origin.

Anyone with information can call police on the non-emergency number 101.