Stoke & Staffordshire

Stoke-on-Trent homes evacuated in police incident

Police car
Image caption Neighbourhood officers were on duty in the area to reassure the community

Armed officers are at an address in Stoke-on-Trent after reports of a man in distress.

Streets around Guildford Street, in Shelton, have been cordoned off since just after 13:00 GMT.

A police spokesman said about 30 properties had been evacuated with some residents being housed in a temporary rest centre.

Ch Insp Jeff Moore said the cordons were in place as a precautionary measure to ensure public safety.

Avoid the area

The man, who lives alone, has not been named.

Mr Moore said: "Armed and unarmed officers are currently at the scene and are working to bring the matter to a safe conclusion.

"Specially trained police negotiators are also involved in the policing operation.

"Officers are working closely with colleagues at Stoke-on-Trent City Council to provide temporary respite facilities for neighbours and local residents affected by the incident."

He added the majority of residents had sought shelter with relatives and friends while a "small number" had gone to the temporary rest centre.

"Neighbourhood officers are also on duty in the area to reassure the community and provide support," he said.

"Our advice to local people is to avoid the Guildford Street area at the moment."

A man who lives nearby, who did not want to give his name, said: "I came out of my house and got told to move down the street quickly.

"There were policemen lined up against their car with guns pointing at one of the doors on the street.

"I was a bit shocked."

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