POLICE armed response officers were scrambled to a North-East primary school this afternoon (Thursday, January 14) after a camouflaged man was spotted nearby with what is believed to be an air rifle.

Durham Police were called to Seascape School in Ellison Road, Peterlee, County Durham, after a member of staff reported seeing somebody taking a weapon out of a gun case near the school at about 1pm.

Officers attended and searched the area, but the man had gone by the time they had got there.

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A police spokesman said: “While the person was on the phone contacting the police, the man put the weapon back into the case and walked off.

“There was no suggestion he was going to use it, but obviously under the circumstances we responded with firearms officers. He wasn’t there when officers got there.”

Police stationed unarmed officers at the school until the children went home and continued to patrol the area to reassure residents.