AN investigation has been launched after a handgun and ammunition were found inside a car in Darwen.

Police made the discovery after the stolen white Saab 93 was abandoned on the car park of the Borough Public House in Grimshaw Street.

It is believedthe car was left on Monday and police were contacted following converns it may have been abandoned.

The car had false registration plates and had been reported stolen from the Wigan area on July 28.

Officers have searched the car park and conducted house to house and CCTV enquiries in the area.

A full and through examination of the car will take place and the gun and ammunition will also be forensically examined.

Detective Inspector Mark Winstanley said, “I would appeal to anyone who has been in the area over the past few days and who may have witnessed any suspicious activity around this vehicle to come forward and contact us.

“It is an unusual incident and something that we do not come across very often in East Lancashire as incidents involving firearms and the discovery of guns is extremely rare."