Police called on the help of the Dutch Navy to help track down an armed suspect in Falmouth on Thursday evening.

What was initially believed to be a police helicopter flying over Boslowick was in fact an aircraft from The Netherlands, which was in training at RNAS Culdrose in Helston.

Staff at the control tower of the air station were called by police at around 8.30pm on Thursday and asked if they could help in the search, as the police helicopter was not available.

The only aircraft operating at the time was a helicopter from the Royal Netherlands Navy, one of three staying at Culdrose for training.

The Dutch aircrew were in a pre-flight briefing at the time and readily accepted the challenge.

A spokeswoman for the Royal Netherlands Navy said: “Without hesitation, the training flight of the NH90 helicopter was changed to a deployment to support the local police.

"This deployment fitted in seamlessly with the initial goal of the training flight. An experienced crew set off with the coordinates of the location where the suspect was last seen.

“The Dutch crew supported the British police in the search with the help of a FLIR (Forward Looking Infrared) camera and a searchlight. The search was aborted after half an hour.

"Later that evening it was announced that the suspect had been arrested by the British police, partly thanks to the deployment of the NH90.”

A spokesman for RNAS Culdrose added: “It was just fortunate that our Dutch visitors were on hand to help Devon and Cornwall Police in this instance. We were able to coordinate their help in this search.