Armed police and a dog unit descended upon an East Bowling road yesterday afternoon after residents reported seeing a man wandering the streets with a gun.

About a dozen armed officers arrived at New Hey Road at about 4.30pm following reports of an armed man near the Post Office.

Police vans and cars and a dog unit were packed into the mainly residential area and officers entered a house in Coventry Street soon after.

Officers were urging the public, including children who had gathered around the scene, to stay back and remain indoors while they dealt with the incident.

Shortly afterwards two men were seen being led away in handcuffs and it soon emerged that the gun which had caused so much panic had in fact been a BB gun, which was taken as evidence.

One person on the scene estimated there were between ten and 15 armed police in the area at the height of the scare.

Police said an armed unit was sent out after the force received reports of a man with a firearm.

They confirmed they arrested two men and the arrests were on suspicion of carrying an imitation firearm.

One of the witnesses, who asked not to be named, said: “It was quite frightening, especially as a couple of kids had come to have a look but the police were asking them to get back for their safety.

“The police did things absolutely to perfection. They put the public at peace and made sure everyone was safe. They really did us proud.”

Inspector Andy Gallant, of Bowling, Barkerend & Bradford Moor Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “Two men have been arrested on suspicion of possession of an imitation firearm in a public place following an incident in East Bowling.

“Officers were called at 4.38pm to a report of a man with a firearm in New Hey Road.

“Following enquiries in the local area, two men, aged 19 and 22, were arrested and a BB gun seized.

“The pair remain in custody at this time.”