Children had to be kept late at Bolton primary school on Friday afternoon after reports of someone nearby carrying a gun.

Reports of an armed man prompted police to tell staff at St Matthew’s Primary School in Halliwell on Kentford Road in Halliwell to keep pupils behind.

It is understood an arrest took place nearby on Lindfield Drive.

Nearby residents reported seeing a police helicopter and multiple police cars in the area at the time.

One said: “Police reported somebody carrying a gun.

“They couldn’t get the kids home until 4pm, it is normally 3pm.

“Parents were told.

“There was a helicopter.

“My brother’s kids go there, parents were told there was a guy with a gun in the area.

“We have not had many incidents in this area but we get some, a few months ago someone burned a house on Pentland Terrace.”

One parent said: “My son attends the school and at 3pm yesterday the school was locked down with all parents children and staff inside. 

“Police cars vans and even a helicopter had flooded the area. 

“Parents were informed that someone with a gun had been seen outside and so the police had asked for an emergency lockdown of the school. 

“Around 40 minutes later we heard someone had been arrested and school was then reopened.”

Police have been contacted for comment.