Armed police called after shoppers mistake man's toy lightsaber for rifle

The weapons are an iconic part of the Star Wars franchise - but not a dangerous weapon here on Earth

Armed officers were called into a busy city centre after alarmed shoppers reported seeing a man carrying a rifle through a shopping mall - only to discover it was just a toy lightsaber.

A call was made to the Devon and Cornwall Police control room shortly before midday, reporting a man in his 50s with what appeared to be a firearm of some sort hidden in an air rifle carrier.

An armed response team was immediately dispatched to the Drake Circus Shopping Centre in Plymouth, Devon, where the man was spotted nearby.

However, when officers arrived at the scene and found the suspect, they soon realised the Star Wars fan had been armed with nothing more sinister than a toy replica of the film series' iconic weapon.

While a deadly piece of weaponry in the Star Wars universe, the item does not pose much of a threat here on Earth, and the officers let the man continue with his day.

Taking to Twitter afterwards, the force said it had been officers' "job of the day".

"May the Force be with you", they added.