RESIDENTS have described a dramatic police armed siege that unfolded in a County Durham town this morning.

Neighbours in Shotley Bridge, near Consett, were alerted to something happening by the sounds of walkie-talkies and a helicopter some time before 10am.

Several police cars and vans converged on an address in a lane between Benfieldside Road and Moorlands, with officers ordering people to stay inside their houses. 

Read more: LIVE: Large police presence at incident in Medomsley

The incident lasted over an hour and police have confirmed a man was been arrested following reports of an altercation. The fire brigade and ambulance were also in attendance.

Police said there was no connection with another serious incident a few miles away at Medomsley and Leadgate.

One Shotley Bridge resident who did not wish to be named told The Northern Echo: "I was having a lie in and was awoken at about 9.30am to 10am by the sound of helicopters and walkie talkies. 

Read more: First pictures of scene as B6309 blocked and police cordon in place

"We could hear dogs barking and shouting. There was a helicopter flying overhead.

"There were a couple of riot vans and police cars. And there was an ambulance and fire engine parked up the road."

He added: "The police were here for about an hour and a half to two hours. There were about 10 armed police dotted around the place.

"We couldn't really see much otherwise we were stopped in the living room."

Another resident said: "The whole area was cordoned off. There were lots of police cars and vans here. The fire brigade and ambjulance were here as well.

"I heard that a man had been arrested."

A spokeswoman for Durham Constabulary said: “We were called to reports of an altercation on Thursday, May 19, shortly after 9.30am.

“A man was later arrested in connection with the incident at an address in Shotley Bridge and he remains in police custody.

“Enquiries are ongoing.”

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