Around 80 people have been evacuated from their homes in Northolt, north-west London by armed police engaged in a stand-off with a man said to be in possession of “dangerous items”.
Armed officers have placed a 200m cordon around a property in Wood End Lane, with residents taken to a place of safety.
Officers were called to the scene at around 1am on Friday morning by a caller expressing concern about the occupant, who they say had “hazardous items” within the house. So far no attempt has been made to enter the property amid concerns for the safety of the occupant and themselves.
A Police spokesman has revealed that just one person is believed to be in the property, the Daily Mail has reported.
“Due to concerns for safety of the man at the address and the responding officers, police did not attempt to access the property,” he said.
He confirmed: “Police cordons are in place, at a 200-metre radius, to facilitate the ongoing policing operation. Armed officers and negotiators are present.
“For safety reasons approximately 80 people have been temporarily re-housed from the immediate area of the address.
“It is not known what the man has inside the property” but “attempts have been made by him to prevent access to the address,” he said, adding: “There is no suggestion that this incident is terrorist-related nor is it linked to any other ongoing investigation or operation.”
Steve Carroll, 42, told Get West London that armed police had blocked off a nearby leisure centre car park, explaining to visitors that there was an ongoing ’emergency.’
He said: “We got there around 8.20am for kids swimming lessons.
“When we arrived there was one car outside with lights on. By the time we parked in the leisure centre car park and walked round to the entrance there was three cars and three vans.
“When we were coming out about 9:45am the car park was blocked off by police and there was police cars and vans everywhere. Armed police there too.”
Police are understood to have also congregated at points around the area over the last 24 hours, including Northolt Fire Station, and to have shut down a number of main and side roads.
Dr Rekha Elaswarapu told the Evening Standard: “I was driving to the leisure centre at around 7.45am and I just saw police vans everywhere.
“When I eventually got there, five vans were parked at the leisure centre. We don’t know what is happening.
“I have never seen anything like this on such a mass scale in Northolt.”