VIOLENT disorder broke out in Dudley last night as cars were attacked with baseball bats and reports of gunshots being fired.

The incident happened on the forecourt of the car wash in Stafford Street at around 7pm.

Police were called after witnesses saw a group of men smash cars parked outside premises, just off Wolverhampton Street.

Officers arrested a 37 year-old man at the scene, on suspicion of violent disorder and possession of an offensive weapon. He continues to help police with inquiries this morning.

A second witness later reported that gunshots had been heard in the vicinity around the time of the disorder.

At this stage, it is not thought that anyone was injured during the incident.

Detective sergeant Glenn Marriott from the Sandwell and Dudley team of Force Criminal Investigation Department said: “We are treating this incident very seriously, as it appears that those involved in the disorder were obviously in some kind of dispute and had access to weapons.

“We are continuing to conduct specialist searches at the scene today, and will be interviewing the man arrested at the scene.

“Stafford Street and Wolverhampton Street are busy thoroughfares and I would urge anyone who was passing the area at all from around 7pm last night to come forward and pass on any information you may have to the investigating officers.”

Roads in the area are open as normal this morning, however the affected business premises remains closed.

Sergeant Chris Fox from Dudley police station said: “Incidents such as this cause concern for local people and we will be carrying out patrols in the area to reassure residents and traders over coming days.

“Thankfully, this kind of disorder is unusual and we will be speaking to people in the area as part of inquiries to try and identify those involved.”

Anyone with information to help the police investigation is urged to contact Team 9 of Force CID at Harborne police station on 0345 113 5000 or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.