FIREARMS officers recovered a starting pistol and arrested four suspects after concerned members of the public reported sighting a 'weapon' being fired.
Officers targeted an unauthorised travellers' site on Greenbank recreation land after it was alleged a revolver had been discharged several times.
A 22-year-old man arrested as part of the operation has been charged with possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence. He will appear at Vale Royal Magistrates' Court tomorrow.
A 21-year-old woman and 30-year-old man were also arrested and they have since been released on police bail until tomorrow. A fourth suspect has been released without charge.
Insp Mark Watson said: 'Every report we receive about firearms is handled very seriously.
'The ultimate aims of the operations we undertake to investigate allegations like this are to ensure people's safety and recover any weapons which may be present.
'We successfully achieved this and a blank firing starting pistol was seized when we visited the site. A notice was also served on the community to quit the land and they have now left.'
Superintendent Ian Hopkins, who was in overall command of the operation, said: 'This was a lengthy and difficult operation involving a number of police resources and Vale Royal Borough Council working closely together over several days. I am pleased we were able to bring it to a safe and successful conclusion.
'I would also like to reassure the local community that their normal living conditions have been restored. Our attendance at the site last week did not go unnoticed. We only targeted the small minority of the people on the unauthorised site who were responsible for the disruption. As always, the majority of the people on the site were not involved.'
Insp Watson added: 'All reports from members of the public are treated in the same way - seriously. In Cheshire we have many different cultures and communities living side-by-side. None of them however are above the law and this operation highlights that perfectly.'