A WOMAN is to be questioned by police after an armed stand-off lasting more than eight hours came to an end.

The incident concluded just after 7.20pm when the 40-year-old woman was arrested under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act.

Police said she would be questioned "in-depth" at Redcar Police Station.

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Superintendant Ciaron Irvine of Cleveland Police said tonight: "This was a fairly lengthy incident with a successful outcome.

"My officers and their counterparts from other agencies worked professionally and efficiently together to bring the matter to a safe conclusion.

"I would like to thank Saltburn residents who have endured a degree of disruption over the past few hours – their understanding, support and co-operation is much appreciated."

Earlier, police confirmed an area on Saltburn seafront had been cordoned off after concern for the welfare of a woman.

The woman was earlier sat on a bench with her hands on her head, with a bag about ten feet away from her.

Armed police had their guns pointed at her head.

Army bomb disposal experts were believed to be on site and thought to be using a robot to investigate the woman's bag.

Earlier, an eyewitness said: "There is a woman, laid face down on the ground and the police are covering her (with their weapons).

"There is something that looks like a rucksack next to her. Police are just watching her."

A spokeswoman for Cleveland Police said: "Shortly after 11am today police received information that a woman in Saltburn may have suspicious items on her and became concerned for her welfare.

"Police have traced the woman to the seafront and are currently speaking to her. Armed officers and trained negotiators are currently at the scene as well as other emergency services.

"Specialist officers from the Army bomb disposal unit are also in attendance. A cordon has been put in place to prevent public access to an area close to the sands and to ensure public safety.

"Saltburn Bank is currently closed to traffic and several people who were at business premises in the area were earlier evacuated.

"The priority of the police is to bring about a safe conclusion to the incident and inquiries are ongoing."

It is understood the police helicopter was also in the area, along with possibly two Army helicopters.

If you are a witness to the events, or have pictures or video footage, call 01325-505065 or email newsdesk@nne.co.uk