Police helicopters were circling parts of Lancashire on Wednesday night (4 January) and we have discovered why.

Police helicopters were spotted circling Darwen and another was spotted above skies in Lytham.

Real-time aircraft flight tracking app, Flight Radar, showed a National Police Air Service helicopter flying over Colne and Preston before circling the Darwen area.

Posting to a Facebook group one person said: “I was out walking the dog around Hoddlesdenand I wondered what it was.

“I thought it was a low flying plane from Manchester Airport.”

Another said: “I've just seen it outside my house.”

A police spokesperson said the helicopter was searching for a suspect vehicle but did not provide any further detail.

A police helicopter was also seen in the Lytham area last night as police searched for a vehicle, believed to be connected to thefts from skips at recycling centres across Lancashire.

The vehicle, a Vauxhall Vectra, was followed by officers to the Lytham Household Waste Centre in Saltcotes Road.

Officers, with support from the National Police Air Service, used thermal imaging to search the site with a man found hiding within the compound.

He was later arrested in connection with the offences. A number of electrical items, believed to have been removed from containers, were found at the scene

Mark Holden, 41, of Beaconsfield Terrace, Chorley, was charged with attempted theft - including theft by 'finding'.

He has been bailed to appear at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court on January 24.