POLICE have launched a search at a third house as part of a major investigation into the discovery of weapons and ammunition.

Officers arrived at a property in Temple Road, Colchester, on Tuesday.

They were later supported by Army bomb disposal experts.

Detectives and other officers remained at the scene yesterday.

It has now been confirmed the investigation is linked to a probe which saw a 71-year-old man arrested in June after a cache of weapons were found in two other homes in the Colchester area.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “Officers are currently searching an address in Temple Road, Colchester, as part of an ongoing investigation into firearms offences.

“It follows the recovery of a significant number of weapons and ammunition from addresses in Hugh Dickson Road in the town and London Road, Copford, in June.”

An Army spokesman confirmed a bomb disposal team had supported officers but said Essex Police were leading on the investigation.

Stunned residents saw police arrive on Tuesday but had been kept in the dark over the nature of the search.

Police stumbled upon the first of the worrying finds after being called the the house in London Road because of a concern for the occupier’s welfare.

Halstead Gazette:

Search - police in London Road, Copford, in June

Further investigations led them to Hugh Dickson Road where more weapons were found.

Police were at that address for several days but were in London Road constantly for at least four weeks leaving nearby residents worried about what was happening and the lack of information they received.

Halstead Gazette:

Discovery - police in Hugh Dickson Road, Colchester

They are no longer at the address in Copford having moved the search on to Temple Road in Shrub End.

The police spokesman thanked the public for their help as they continued the investigation.

She added: “We do not believe that there is any wider risk to the public at this time and would like to thank residents for their patience as our inquiries continue.”

After being arrested, the 71-year-old was released on bail.

However, after answering to police last month he was released under investigation.