A SHOPPING CENTRE was evacuated this afternoon following a gun scare.

Police were called to the food court at Manchester Arndale at about 1.20pm today to reports of a man with a gun.

Armed officers attended but found no evidence of anyone with a firearm.

A teenager, who police say was topless at the time, was seen standing on a table and shouting.

He was not seen to be carrying a weapon, but it is believed his actions were intended to cause alarm and panic amongst members of the public.

He is described as black, in his mid-late teens, around 5ft 7, medium build and he was wearing light-coloured tracksuit bottoms.

Police say he is believed to have put on a t-shirt as he fled the scene.

A hunt for the teenager is now under way.

Superintendent John-Paul Ruffle, of GMP’s Specialist Operations Branch, said: “We responded immediately to this incident, and thankfully it was quickly established there was no credible threat to the public.

“The man who caused the disturbance was not seen with any weapons, but nevertheless it caused fear and panic to quickly spread amongst people in the Arndale.

“Despite no evidence of a credible threat, we are taking this very seriously.

"A full investigation has been launched to establish the full circumstances of what happened and enquiries are ongoing to trace the person responsible.

“There will be increased patrols in the area, and anyone with questions or concerns is encouraged to speak to officers on the ground.

“I would urge anyone with information or footage of the incident to contact police on 0161 856 4275.”

Information can be also passed on to Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.