A man was arrested in Eastbourne last night (Tuesday, May 3) after reports of a group of youths carrying baseball bats and what appeared to be a handgun.
Armed police officers, supported by a police helicopter, were called to Etchingham Road at 8.03pm where the group was reported to have been seen running into a block of flats.
Police surrounded Hampshire Court and advised people to remain in their homes and avoid the area until the matter was resolved.
Just before 10.10pm, armed officers moved into the block and within minutes removed a man from one of the flats. A police dog was sent in to search the remainder of the premises, but there was nobody else within.
A 34-year-old man of no fixed address was arrested on suspicion of possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and affray. He remained in custody on Tuesday night.
Detective Superintendent Nick May, from the East Sussex police divisional command team, said, “I would like to thank everyone for their patience while we carried out our operation to contain this matter.
“I appreciate that the sight of armed officers and the police helicopter may have been disturbing, if not alarming for local residents, but it is important that we treat reports such as these seriously for the safety of everyone concerned.
“Thankfully, nobody was hurt and we managed to bring the incident to a fairly swift conclusion. A man is in custody and we will continue with our investigation locally to establish the circumstances, which include discovering who else was involved.
“However, we do not believe that they are a threat to the public and people can now move freely in the area again. The scene has been secured and a marked vehicle will remain in place overnight before we resume our search of the premises in the morning.”
Police ask anyone who may have witnessed any of the events prior to the police arriving or may have any information about the incident or the people involved, to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 101 quoting serial 1438 of 03/05.
Witnesses can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 (www.crimestoppers-uk.org).
Pictures by Eddie Mitchell and Dan Jessup.
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