LIVE UPDATES: Armed police seal off South Shields street

A man is being quizzed by police after a loaded crossbow was found following a four-and-a-half hour stand-off in a South Shields street

Armed officers from Northumbria Police were called to Moreland Road shortly before midday after they received a report of concern for a man at a property making threats and stating he had a firearm.

A cordon was set up to allow police to deal with the incident and ensure the safety of local residents.

Roads were closed off and firefighters and ambulance crews were also dispatched to the scene, while local schools also issued advice to parents about collecting children as the stand-off continued.

Shortly before 4.30pm, the man was seen leaving the property and shouting at police before he be appeared to be handcuffed and then led away to a police vehicle which then left the scene.

No-one was injured during the incident and a 49-year-old man has been arrested and is in police custody.

During an initial search of the property police have recovered what they believe to be a loaded crossbow. Further searches of the address are ongoing.

Chief Inspector Dave Gould said: "First and foremost I would like to thank local residents for their understanding while we dealt with this incident. I know there was some disruption and some residents were asked to leave their homes. Their cooperation meant we were able to get on and bring this incident to a safe conclusion and we are grateful for that.

"A man is now in police custody and will be assisting in our enquiries as we establish the circumstances of this incident. I would like to reiterate we take reports of this nature incredibly seriously and will do all we can to protect our communities from harm."

One local resident said: "I know the man because I see him regularly, he's a really nice guy.

A man is led away by police after the incident in Moreland Road

A man is led away by police after the incident in Moreland Road

"Whatever has happened, it's a shame."

A friend said: "I was down in Laygate when I got a call to say police were in the street.

"I came back up to see what was going on. There were loads of police here.

"He's a really nice guy who always talks to anyone. I just hope everyone is ok."

Police arrest a man after he leaves a property in Moreland Road

Police arrest a man after he leaves a property in Moreland Road

Another local resident said: "I got off the bus to go home at around 2pm and I couldn't get into the street because police had it sealed off so I've been stood watching what was going on.

"I had no idea what was happening until I came down to the street."

Earlier, a Northumbria Police spokesman said: "Police are currently dealing with an on-going incident in South Shields.

"At 11.55am this morning police received a report of concern for a man in an address in Moreland Road making threats and stating he had a firearm.

"The incident is currently contained inside the address. Officers are currently at the address to speak to the man. A cordon has been set up around the street.

"Armed officers are in attendance to ensure the safety of the man and local residents.

"Extra officers are in the area."

The drama is took place a short distance away from St Oswald's RC Primary School, in Nash Avenue.

Police speak to a man inside an address in Moreland Road

Police speak to a man inside an address in Moreland Road

One parent said she had received a message from the school saying: "The police have just instructed us to inform parents that there is currently an incident on Moreland Road.

"Therefore school cannot be accessed by that entrance.

"Years 3,4,5 and 6 will be dismissed from the main entrance on Nash Avenue.

"Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 can be collected as usual from the yard.

"School will finish as normal at 3.15pm.

"Those children who walk home alone will remain in school until parents make arrangements for them to be collected.

Police sealed off the area around Moreland Road while the incident happened.

Police sealed off the area around Moreland Road while the incident happened.

"Police have specifically asked that parents avoid driving cars into the area as Moreland Road is closed and Nevinson Avenue is partially cordoned off.

"Please be assured that all of the children at St Oswald's are safe."

South Shields School was also issuing advide to parents.

A message to parents said: "We are aware of an incident on Nevinson Avenue.

"Public and scholar buses will be delayed. Students may arrive home late.

"Students walking home will be directed by staff and police. Any concerns please contact the school."

Stagecoach bus services in the area were also affected.

The company tweeted: "Svc 3/4/X34 are diverting via John Reid Rd in both directions between Whiteleas and Ridgeway."

A section of road between Gainsborough Avenue and Moreland Road was closed and police were not letting people pass.

As well as armed officers, the police dog unit was also in attendance. Crowds gathered in the street as the police activity continued.