A 70-YEAR-OLD man is due in court next week charged with possession of thousands of indecent images of children, possession of a handgun, and illegally buying silver and gold bullion.

The man, who is from Harrogate, did not enter a plea at York Magistrates' Court when he appeared on October 24, and was remanded into custody until a crown court appearance next week.

North Yorkshire Police said the charges related to an ongoing investigation supported by the National Crime Agency, and a 61-year-old woman arrested in connection with the investigation had been released on conditional police bail pending further enquiries.

A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said: "This is clearly a very concerning investigation and we fully appreciate any alarm and distress this may cause in the community.

"However, from the detailed and specialist police enquiries that have been conducted so far into the alleged offending, there is nothing to suggest an ongoing risk to local residents. High-visibility patrols were carried out in the area to provide community reassurance while the police activity was taking place."

Anyone with information should phone North Yorkshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111, quoting reference 12180189353.