A man has been arrested after police responded to reports of a person with a firearm.

The arrest was made in Blackburn town centre on the evening of Saturday, February 10.

The weapon has since been identified as an imitation BB gun.

In a statement from the Blackburn neighbourhood policing team, it was said a young male was spotted walking through the town centre with the BB gun sticking out of his pocket and carrying it in his hand.

Specially trained officers were deployed to the area and detained the male, at which point the weapon was confirmed to not be a genuine firearm.

Due to the nature of the incident, though, the male was arrested on suspicion of possession of an imitation firearm in a public place.

The statement continued: "What it appears the young man failed to grasp was the effect this could have on other shoppers. Alongside this is the potential police response to such incidents. Officers are required to make split second decisions, with limited information, in situations where the apparent risk to the public is significant." 

A police spokesperson said: "Officers responded to reports of an individual with what was believed to be a firearm in their possession, within the town centre.

"On attendance, this has been identified as an imitation BB gun and an arrest was made.

"This serves as a warning that we have a zero tolerance policy in regard to any form of weapon whether real or an imitation."