FOUR men have been arrested after armed police swooped in Ramsbottom this morning.

The officers and the police helicopter were scrambled following reports of a disturbance involving weapons in Dundee Lane at 8.35am. 

Following a search by teams of officers with sniffer dogs near the car park of the former Old Dun Horse pub and Specialist Operations Branch, three men were arrested. A fourth man was arrested a short time later.

Detective Inspector Simon Edgington, of GMP’s Bury Borough, said: “Given the nature of the report, people in the area will have noticed a highly visible response from locally based officers and officers from our Specialist Operations Branch.

“As a result of the swift response by police, four men have now been arrested in connection with the incident and will be questioned by detectives later today.

“Our investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident is underway and I would urge anybody with information about what happened to contact police.”

An eyewitness said she had seen officers "digging in the ground" behind the Dundee United Reformed Church. 

Officers arrested two men and then towed a white van from an area close to the Red Hall Hotel, in Manchester Road.

A staff member from the hotel said: "I had just pulled into work on my bike and I saw around 10 armed police carrying rifles while the police helicopter was flying overhead.

"There was lots of shouting and police had hold of two men who they cuffed. Then they took one away in a car and the other in a van."

Another eyewitness from a nearby business added: "There was a white van that police seemed to be searching.

"They were here for quite a while but I didn't see them bring anything out from inside it."

However, a North West Ambulance Service spokesman confirmed that no one had been hurt.

She said: "We were called to assist with a police incident this morning, but we have now been cleared from the area with no patients."

Witnesses spotted other officers at the MC Motor garage on Kay Brow.