Police patrols stepped up following reports of ‘gunman’ in Warbreck

Armed police outside Warbreck House after reports of a man with a firearm
Armed police outside Warbreck House after reports of a man with a firearm
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Police patrols have been upped in Warbreck following reports a man was seen brandishing a gun.

Armed police were called to the Warbreck area following the report from a member of staff at the Department for Work and Pensions, off Warbreck Hill Road, at around 5pm on Monday.

Armed police outside Warbreck House after reports of a man with a firearm

Armed police outside Warbreck House after reports of a man with a firearm

Lime Grove was temporarily closed and DWP staff were told to stay indoors while officers searched the area.

The operation was called off at 9pm. There was no trace of the gunman.

One woman who works at the DWP, who did not want to be named, said: “We were told about 5pm that there was a man outside with a gun on the playing field by the rock garden.

“At 5.40pm there was a tannoy announcement to say that we weren’t to leave the building.

“The police came pretty much straight away but the staff weren’t told until about 40 minutes after.”

Staff were allowed to leave at around 6.40pm, 10 minutes after their normal leaving time.

Patrols continued in the area today. Officers are reviewing CCTV from the area, while the person who originally made the report is being re-interviewed, police said.

Det Ch Insp Lee Wilson, of Blackpool CID, said: “This report was made in good faith and at this point we are still taking the information seriously.

“We continue to have extra patrols in the area, which we hope will reassure people who are going about their daily business in Warbreck Hill and the surrounding area, and our investigation is on-going and a dedicated team of officers are carrying out extensive enquiries to ascertain exactly what occurred.

“We would like to thank members of the public, in particular those staff who remained in their offices nearby as a precaution until we were satisfied it was safe for them to leave, for their understanding and patience.”

Chris Dobson, 83, who lives on Lime Grove, said he witnessed two police cars and armed cops on the street, which leads to Warbreck House, on Monday night.

He said: “The one I spoke to said there had been an incident, but they didn’t go into any detail, and they were there for quite a while. We went to bed about 10pm and they were still there.

“There was only one police car this morning.”

A spokesman for the DWP said: “The incident was raised to the police just after 5pm (on Monday), and following that staff followed instructions from them. It is a police matter and it is in their hands.”

There were reports on social media that some parents were too “scared” to send their children to school at Unity Academy, at the top of Warbreck Hill Road, until the ‘gunman’ was caught.

But John Topping from the Fylde Coast Academy Trust, which runs Unity, said there had been “no change in attendance” and that it was “business as usual”.

Anybody with information is asked to contact police on 101, quoting log number 1047 of February 4.

Blackpool Police launch investigation after reports of man with firearm sees armed officers on streets