Police continue to quiz man after three-hour armed siege at Jarrow bookmakers

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Inquiries are continuing after a man was arrested following a three-hour armed siege at a bookmakers in Jarrow.

At 5.46pm on Sunday, police received a report of a man in possession of what was believed to be a firearm inside Coral bookmakers in Grange Road.

Police surround the Coral bookmakers in the Viking Centre, Jarrow. Pic: Stephen Dixon.

Police surround the Coral bookmakers in the Viking Centre, Jarrow. Pic: Stephen Dixon.

Earlier in the evening three other people, who had been held inside the premises with the intruder, left the building unharmed.

Firearms officers attended along with police negotiators who spoke with the man and at 8.45pm the incident was brought to an end, with a fourth hostage also being freed without injury.

Yesterday the bookmakers remained closed while an officer stood on guard outside,

A 39-year-old man who was arrested at the scene remains police custody where he is currently being questioned.

A firearm was seized during the incident and police have revealed in order to bring the situation to an end an attenuating energy projectile (AEP) launcher - a type of baton round which replaced rubber bullets – was used.

The use of the launcher reduces the potential for life-threatening injury.

Officers believe the incident in the bookmakers was contained and are not looking for anyone else in connection with this, however, enquiries are on-going and police are not ruling out further arrests in connection with supplying firearms.

T/Assistant Chief Constable Vanessa Jardine said: “We fully understand the impact incidents involving suspected firearms have on our local communities and, while thankfully they are incredibly rare, when they do happen we always endeavour to make sure they are brought to a safe conclusion as quickly as possible.

“I know some local residents experienced some slight disruption while we dealt with this incident and I would like to thank them for their support and cooperation, their support is vitally important to us and something we never take for granted. I would also like to thank all officers involved for their professionalism in bringing the incident to a safe conclusion.”

Gavin Martin, a delivery driver for Santino’s - just a few doors down from the scene of the siege - said: “I had been out on a job, I came back and it was all sealed off.

“That was about three hours ago an it has been like this ever since.”

Eighteen-year-old Morgan Armour, from South Shields, said he had seen the man talking to police.

He said: “At one point he opened the door, but then he went back in.

“We heard he was holding someone hostage but had let three people go.”

Coral was not available for comment.