A 65-year-old has been cautioned for police for a public order offence - after sparking an armed manhunt in the streets of South Shields.
A high-profile operation - which saw armed officers and scores of patrolling police scrambled and a force helicopter deployed - was launched in Chichester Road on Wednesday morning after fears were raised over a man 'acting suspiciously' in the area.
Dozens of officers were seen searching the streets while the police helicopter scoured the area from the skies.
The police search spanned two days before a man was arrested yesterday.
A 65-year-old man has accepted a caution for a public order offence.
An imitation firearm was also recovered by officers.
Shocked eyewitnesses told how armed police searched Chichester Metro Station as the operation got under way.
They described seeing police armed with guns in the street during the search.
T/Supt Sarah Pitt said: "We take reports of this nature incredibly seriously and will carry out extensive enquiries to locate those responsible for causing fear in our communities.
"In this instance a search of the local area was quickly carried out and enquiries carried out to identify the man responsible. He was subsequently arrested and has now accepted a police caution for the incident.
"There are a number of factors that we need to take into consideration when deciding on the appropriate action taken against offenders and a caution is only issued if it is in the public interest to do so."