FIVE people have been arrested after a suspected handgun was found in a car.

Police were called by a motorist travelling on the M65 who reported that someone in a red Fiat Punto had pointed what they thought was a firearm towards them.

The incident happened on Wednesday between junctions seven and eight on the motorway.

The Fiat Punto left the M65 at junction eight and headed towards Bury on the A56.

Details were passed to officers at Greater Manchester Police, who received reports of two cars driving at speed near Bolton Road, in Bury, just after 4pm.

When officers attended, they found a Fiat Punto and a black Audi A4 had crashed in Croston’s Road.

The firearm was recovered from the Punto.

Two men, aged 18 and 22 from Blackburn, and one woman aged 26 and from Newchurch, in Rossendale, were arrested at the scene on suspicion of possession of a firearm.

Another two men, aged 33 and 37 from Blackburn, were arrested at the scene on suspicion of affray.

They were all in custody last night and were being interviewed by detectives from Lancashire who were leading inquiries. The firearm has been sent for forensic analysis.

Det Insp Mark Vaughton, of Blackburn CID, said: “We believe that the occupants of the Fiat Punto and the Audi are from the East Lancashire area and are known to one another.

“While we have recovered a firearm there is thankfully no suggestion that this was discharged at any point.

“Having said that, we are treating this extremely seriously and we are working closely with our colleagues in Greater Manchester Police to progress this inquiry. Investigations are ongoing and I would appeal for anyone who witnessed either of the vehicles to get in touch with us.”

Anyone with information should contact police on 101 quoting log number 775 of Wednesday, January 22.