Frightened shoppers and residents were evacuated from Purley High Street on Sunday - believing a car bomb had gone off.

However, the incident - where the back windscreen of a Citroen car shattered spontaneously - turned out to be the result of a mechanical fault.

A Croydon police spokesman said a number of officers were called to the scene in High Street at around 1.55pm following reports of the sound of an explosion from a parked car.

Nearby premises and Purley High Street were cordoned off and firefighters attended the scene.

The police spokesman said: "As a precaution, surrounding roads were closed and nearby premises were evacuated. After investigation, however, it transpired the noise had been caused by a mechanical failure of the vehicle's windscreen."

Police said it quickly became clear the incident was nothing more serious and the road reopened half an hour later.