ARMED police swooped on a Westcliff street after reports a man had been spotted carrying a gun.

Six police cars descended on Ceylon Road and London Road shortly after 4pm.

They were supported by a police helicopter and a dog unit after residents said they had spotted a man carrying what appeared to be a gun.

Officers scoured the area and were seen driving at high speed along London Road.

Some searched the back garden of a house on the corner of Ceylon Road and Anerley Road.

Police dogs were used to search roads and gardens and officers in unmarked cars spread out to comb the area for the suspect, whom it was thought may have been with another man.

It was later discovered the gun was a BB gun and it was retrieved from the street. No arrests were made. 

A woman, who asked not to be named, was warned she could be in danger.

She said: “A girl came running over to me and told me to watch out as there were two men, one with a gun.

“She said the man with the gun had been up and down the road and had been seen putting something into a bin in the car park behind Ceylon Road.”

A man was then reportedly seen walking down Anerley Road.

One passer-by, who also declined to be named, said: “There were five or six police cars parked around the area.

“It looked like there were a couple of unmarked ones and, by the looks of it, some armed police.

“There were several cars travelling at high speed into the area and the helicopter was up, hovering over Ceylon Road and circling the area.

“It was pretty clear something serious had happened.”

Police stopped searching and left the area at 6.45pm.