For details on how to contact our editorial and commercial departments, click here
Centre of Knaresborough cordoned off after malicious hoax call
A MALICIOUS hoax call centering on a pizza shop brought a North Yorkshire town to a standstill when armed police swooped to deal with what they believed was a major incident.
Children were kept in school, businesses were told to lock their doors and traffic was diverted as police cordoned off the centre of Knaresborough.
Police urged residents to avoid unnecessary speculation as rumours circulated that a man had been seen wielding a gun in the usually quiet market town.
But tonight police confirmed that the incident was sparked by a hoax call saying there was "an immediate threat to members of the public" at the Paragon Pizza shop in the town.
A spokeswoman said: "Our primary concern was to ensure the safety of members of the public and an immediate response to the incident was put in place.
"Following extensive and swift enquiries following the calls, officers established that the calls were in fact, malicious hoax calls.
"Officers have thanked the staff and owners of Paragon Pizza - who were the target of the hoax call - for their full cooperation during this incident. The incident has caused them considerable distress."
Police said that nobody had been arrested in connection with the incident.
Earlier, eyewitnesses said the incident had started at just before 5pm. Video footage posted online showed police swooping on a car and appearing to apprehend two men.
Christine Thompson, who runs the Give It a Whirl shop, said: "There were nine vehicles including three unmarked ones.
"They stopped a car coming up Briggate and they made four men get out. They searched them and put handcuffs on two then they had six police dogs and policemen with guns."
Police called King James's School to ask that about 250 pupils remained in the building while they dealt with the incident. Parents were later allowed to pick up their children, but were told to avoid the High Street.
The police cordon was lifted at about 8pm.
Assistant Chief Constable Paul Kennedy said: "This was a very alarming incident for members of the public and we would like to thank the communities of Knaresborough for their patience and cooperation while the police dealt with it. This includes the businesses who were affected by the safety cordons and the premises at the centre of the hoax.
"We treat incidents of this nature with the utmost seriousness and can assure members of the public that a full investigation is now underway to establish who is responsible."
Comments are closed on this article.