Armed police in street as South Shields flats closed off as officers negotiate with man in 'distressed state'

A block of flats in South Shields remains closed off as police have spent the evening continuing to negotiate with a man who is described as being in an "distressed state".

LATEST: Armed police still on the scene this morning (Wednesday) - more here

Police remain at the scene on Lorrain Road, Whiteleas, tonight.

Police remain at the scene on Lorrain Road, Whiteleas, tonight.

Up to eight Northumbria Police vehicles have been seen in Lorrain Road, Whiteleas, during the cause of the day, having first been called to the street at around 11am.

Armed officers have also been seen in the street and police continue to remain on the street tonight.

A Northumbria Police spokesman said: "Police assisting South Tyneside Council with a gas service warrant located a man at an address on Lorrain Road, Whiteleas, described as being in a distressed state.

"He had locked himself inside the property and was unwilling to leave.

Police have been dealing with the incident Lorrain Road, Whiteleas, for around nine hours.

Police have been dealing with the incident Lorrain Road, Whiteleas, for around nine hours.

“Officers are currently at the scene and are negotiating with the man in question."

One woman said: "I passed at 1pm and saw the police had closed the road.

“It was still closed when I came back an hour later.

“A man has locked himself in the flat and is refusing to come out - there was a rumour he had weapons but how much of it is true is anyone's guess."

Police have closed off a block of flats on Lorrain Road, Whiteleas.

Police have closed off a block of flats on Lorrain Road, Whiteleas.

A man, who was walking past when he saw the police in the street, said: "The police have been here since about eleven this morning.

“Loads of people have been out watching what's been going on.

“I think he's in his 30s or something.

“I didn't think it would go on as long as it has.

Police remain at the scene on Lorrain Road, Whiteleas.

Police remain at the scene on Lorrain Road, Whiteleas.

“People have been told to walk on the opposite side to the flat.

"It makes you wonder what's going on inside.

“They've had the dogs going in and out and they've taken shields in.

"I can't get over how may people have come out go watch."

A council spokesman said: "Council officers, with the assistance of Northumbria Police, attended a property on Lorrain Road, South Shields, to gain access to a property as part of our annual Gas Safety Inspections on behalf of South Tyneside Homes."

More on this story to follow.

Police have been at the scene of the incident on Lorrain Road, Whiteleas, for around nine hours.

Police have been at the scene of the incident on Lorrain Road, Whiteleas, for around nine hours.

Police at a block of flats on Lorrain Road, Whiteleas.

Police at a block of flats on Lorrain Road, Whiteleas.

Police in Lorrain Road, Whiteleas.

Police in Lorrain Road, Whiteleas.

Police officers at the incident on Lorrain Road, Whiteleas.

Police officers at the incident on Lorrain Road, Whiteleas.

Witnesses said police have been in the street since around eleven o'clock this morning.

Witnesses said police have been in the street since around eleven o'clock this morning.

Entry to a block of flats in Lorrain Road has been closed off while police negotiate with a man inside an address.

Entry to a block of flats in Lorrain Road has been closed off while police negotiate with a man inside an address.