UNDERWATER police search officers will inspect a Blackpool sewer today after engineers were forced to halt refurbishment work when a bullet was found.
The 9mm ammunition, which has a range of more than half a mile and can be used with a powerful weapon, was found close to Egerton Road, North Shore, by workmen from United Utilities.
Police will now carry out checks on the bullet to see if there is a link to crime.
The engineers were carrying out refurbishment work in the sewers as part of a £1.5m scheme and believe it had been flushed down the toilet.
Work was immediately stopped and police were called in to analyse the findings.
Sean Robinson, from United Utilities, said they regularly unearth an array of items in the sewers.
He said: “We deal with 28,000 blockages in the North West caused by items wrongly flushed down the sewer.
“Since launching think before you flush, if it’s not money, false teeth or other common offending items like baby wipes and nappies, the new one for Blackpool is flushing ammunition down your loo.”
Residents and traders have spoken of their shock after the discovery.
Doug Furnival, 39, the manager of McColl’s newsagent on Egerton Road, said: “It’s concerning people have access to that and the last time I checked it was illegal to have unlicensed guns in your house. There’s always something going on in this street. I’ve lived around here since I was 15 and the area has had its ups and downs, but you have to get used to it.
“If I had gone into a house and found it I would’ve handed it into a police station, but it looks like someone has tried to get rid of it.”
Steven Tyldesley, 26, lives on Egerton Road with his two step-children aged five and eight.
He added: “I don’t feel safe living around here when things like that are being found. I’m pretty shocked because I didn’t think anyone would have any guns in this street. My kids don’t really go outside and play.”
A Lancashire Police spokesman said: “An officer attended and seized what appears to be a 9mm bullet, which has been placed in to the property office.
“Further police action will be taken today, which will include having the ammunition passed to firearms officers. The relevant checks with The National Ballistics Intelligence Service will be carried out to see if there is any link to criminality throughout the country. A further search of the drain where it was recovered from will then be made by underwater search officers prior to the drain being cleaned further.
“There is no suggestion of any criminal activity relating to this ammunition at this time.”