A MAN has been arrested on suspicion of an attempted robbery in Darwen after a major police manhunt in the town.

The incident happened at 4.30am at the Shell petrol station on Blackburn Road.

After the attempted hold-up police were carrying out searches in and close to Sunnyhurst Woods in the town, even scrambling the force helicopter.

Blackburn with Darwen Police said on their Facebook page they were looking for suspects and a large number of police were in the area.

A police spokesman said: "You may have seen a significant number of police in Darwen this morning, in particular around the Sunnyhurst Woods area, including the police helicopter, dog patrols and armed response vehicles.

"It was in response to a report of an attempted robbery at a petrol station on Blackburn Road and an assault on a taxi driver which happened at around 4.30am."

They later posted that 'a man has been arrested. Many thanks once again for all your co-operation, support and understanding.'

Witnesses saw the Shell Garage taped off with six police cars surrounding it.

Pauline Atkinson, 66, of nearby Argyle Street, said: "I had got up at about 4.30am to get a drink and heard some shouting but I could not understand what they were saying.

"They had someone trying to steal the cash machine there once before. 

"It gets to 10 o'clock at night and you don't want to go out in case something happen."

A 47-year-old resident on the same road, said: "The helicopter and police sirens woke everyone in our house.

"I heard a lot of commotion and people outside shouting and wondered what was going on as it is not a normal thing to be happening during the week. 

"If it was at the weekend you may find people coming back shouting.

"The petrol station does not give us any hassle so feel for the people there."

Joan Southern, 80 of Blackburn Road, said: "I heard the helicopter going overhead at about 5am.

"I did not really think too much about it as I sleep in the back of the house.

"There is always something going but you don't expect it to happen near your home.

"I heard that someone got hurt and my thoughts are with them."

One resident, who lives on the Meadows, said: "I heard the helicopter at about 5am and must have been there for about an hour."