ARMED police swooped on a man who was spotted carrying what is thought to be a pump-action shotgun outside a house in Little Lever.

Residents in Park Road were awoken at 9am by police officers and vehicles responding to the 999 alert.

Officers were called to an address in the road after reports a man had been seen in a garden brandishing what appeared to look like a pump-action shotgun.

Greater Manchester Police firearms officers were deployed to the scene where they surrounded the 38-year-old man, retrieved the firearm and arrested him.

It is understood the man quickly surrendered the weapon when officers converged on the house.

The weapon is now being examined by police firearms experts to determine wether it is a genuine pump-action shotgun or some kind of advanced replica.

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said a man was detained on suspicion of possession of firearm with intent to cause fear of violence under the 1968 Firearms Act.

Paul Holden, aged 47, of Park Road said: “I woke up and saw all of the police cars and vans in the road.

"I didn’t know what was going on. It’s not what you expect first thing in the morning. It was definitely a bit of a shock.”

Rose Taylor, aged 60, also of Park Road, said: “It was very frightening because the police were running by the side of my house.

“It was like something off the television. They were putting all of their body protectors on and were armed too. Police shut the road off and stayed for about three hours.

“It’s normally very quiet around here. Nothing like that has ever happened before.”

A police spokesman added: "The gun has now been recovered and is being examined and the arrested man is helping the police with inquiries."