AN armed police unit was scrambled to Colchester town centre after reports weapons had been seen...only for the perpetrators to be historical reenactment participants.

Essex Police's Firearms Support Unit were alerted to the false alarm on Saturday after a concerned member of the public called 999.

The well-intentioned passerby had seen people with what they believed to be swords and other weapons.

But a spokesman for the unit said on Twitter: "The group were found and identified to be from a reenactment club.

"Suitable advice has been given."