An investigation has been launched after what is believed to be a gun has been found on a beach in Hartlepool.
Police were called to the area near to Steetley Pier at just after 11am today.
A weapon, believed to be a gun, had been discovered on the sand.
Scenes of crime officers attended and the gun was taken away.
A police spokesman earlier confirmed officers had been called to the area to reports of a gun being found.
However, investigations were being carried out to determine whether the weapon was real or fake.
Photographer Stephen Curry was down at the beach and saw the officers take the weapon away.
He said: "Police attended and guarded the gun until scenes of crime arrived to remove it. The policeman stated that it looked like it could have been washed ashore, but was unable to confirm anything."
Photo Credit: Stephen Curry