A man arrested for carrying a gun and a large knife inside a shopping centre yesterday has been bailed - after analysis found the firearm was an air pistol.

The 51-year-old was arrested by firearms officers inside the busy St Nicholas Centre yesterday at just before 10.25am after police received concerned calls from members of the public that they had seen a man carrying a firearm in the town centre.

This morning a police spokesman said the man had been arrested on suspicion of having an air pistol, knife and stealing from a shop and are continuing to analyse the firearm.

Police received their first call about the man at about 9.45am.

According to police the man was first seen carrying the gun in a carrier bag in Cash Converters in Sutton High Street.

He was also seen sitting on a bench in the high street before heading into the Virgin Phone Shop.

It is then he went into the St Nicholas Centre where firearms officers detained him just inside.

He was pinned to the ground and disarmed while he was arrested.

The spokesman added the suspect was observed and tracked by plain clothes officers and by operators using CCTV in the control room at Sutton Police station before being detained by officers from the Met's armed response unit.