Your Song Rita Ora
9 June 2017, 12:12
A man's been charged after a stand off with police at a job centre in Newcastle.
Police have charged a man after a siege at a job centre in Newcastle.
Armed officers and the bomb squad were called to the Job Centre Plus in Byker yesterday morning.
A 28-year-old man will appear in court this morning charged with a bomb hoax, false imprisonment and possession of a bladed article.
The man, believed to be known to the Jobcentre Plus in Newcastle, held "several'' staff members in the building for more than two hours this morning.
Specialist negotiators were called in and the bomb squad was also sent to the scene in Clifford Street in the Byker area, following reports the man may also have had an explosive device.
Northumbria Police said shortly before 10.30am that all hostages had been released and the man was "engaging with our negotiators''.
In a statement they added that the bomb disposal unit had been sent "as a precaution'', and the device was later found to be fake.
Police said there was no information to suggest the incident was terror-related.
Northumbria Police Assistant Chief Constable Darren Best has paid tribute to the officers who responded to the incident:
"In recent weeks we have heard many positive stories about the police and how quickly they have responded to some of the atrocities we have witnessed in London and Manchester.
When we first received the call this morning there were very real concerns that this individual could have caused serious harm and to be on the scene in a matter of minutes is a fantastic response.
It must have been particularly traumatising for those staff members who were kept inside the premises but we were able to secure their release within just half an hour of arriving on scene.
Our specialist negotiators engaged with the man very early on and their efforts are one of the main reasons that this incident was brought to a safe conclusion and that nobody was injured.
We know that this would have been a very concerning incident for members of the public, particularly in light of events over the past few weeks, and we want to thank the public for their patience.
This was never being treated as a terrorist incident and the public shoudl be reassured that there is still no specific threat of terrorism in our force area.
However, this response shows just how quickly we can respond in a major incident and just how hostile an environment this region is for any would-be terrorists.
A full investigation will take place and there will be further activity in the area throughout the day however we want to thank the people of Newcastle for working with us today."
Roads in the area and Byker Metro Station have now re-opened.
Anyone who wants to report any information to police that may help their investigation can call officers on 101 quoting log 176 09/07/17 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.