Several schools were on lock-down yesterday after a suspected gunman was spotted.

At about 11.15am yesterday a member of the public warned police that a man wearing a white mask was brandishing a firearm in the streets of Waltham Abbey.

Furter sightings were reported at 11.50am in the town centre and Ninefields area.

Unarmed officers and firearms officers from across Essex were supported by a helicopter as a search of the area was carried out.

Rumours began circulating on social media after parents received texts from their children's schools advising that the children were safe but were being kept inside.

According to the Epping and Brentwood CPT no arrests had been made as of yesterday evening.

The incident followed on from an armed response to a kidnap incident in the town which turned out to be a training exercise.