A POLICE search was sparked in Oldswinford yesterday (Sunday September 17) after a man was seen acting suspiciously outside St Mary's Church shortly after a service marking the 77th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

Officers were called at around 5.20pm after the man's behaviour caused concerns and a spokesman for West Midlands Police confirmed: "As a precaution, the people in the church were asked to remain inside, while police were searching the area."

A witness reported seeing a man in his late teens/early 20s with a hammer outside St Mary's in Rectory Road which had been hosting a service organised by the ATC (Air Cadets) 451 Squadron based at Oldswinford.

The police spokesman confirmed: "A man had been acting suspiciously and causing concern to the congregation."

But she said after a search of the area the man was located and spoken to by officers and she added that "no offences were disclosed and no arrests were made".

Rev Stephen Agnew, vicar at St Mary's - who had just taken the annual Battle of Britain service, dismissed suggestions the church had been put into "lockdown" and he told the News he knew very little about the incident.

He said: "Most people didn't know there was anything going on - people were having tea after the service.

"There was nothing untoward and the situation was resolved."