Man at centre of 11 hour armed siege in Thetford is sectioned under Mental Health Act.

11 hour armed siege in Thetford
11 hour armed siege in Thetford
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A man has been sectioned under the mental health act after an 11 hour armed siege in Thetford.

The unnamed 46-year-old was arrested and subsequently detained following a disturbance in Painter Street on Thursday.

The incident started at about 5pm. Police confirmed a handful of residents nearby were evacuated.

The man was eventually arrested at about 4am.

Alexandra Skull, 22, watched the incident from her bedroom window.

“There were lots of police cars and armed police. There were also two fire engines.

“I didn’t really know what was going on. I heard them talking about cutting the gas and they said there was this guy they was trying to get out of the flat.

“In my 22 years here I’ve never known anthing like it.

“It was very strange – but these things happen.

“I watched it all up until 2.30am then I went to bed – nothing was really happening – even the police looked bored as they had their tea and biscuits.

“When I first saw the armed police arrive it was a bit scary but I figured if there was an explosion or shooting I was indoors so safe and if we weren’t safe where we were we would have been evacuated.”

Keith Hewitt, landlord of The Rose and Crown told how locals crowded round a window and joked about the incident as they watched from across the road.

“We was having pub banter – one of the guys rang up his missus to say he couldn’t come home because there was an armed siege.

“The police were asking people to move their cars and one or two of the regulars who were planning to pick them up the next day were saying ‘No, I can’t I’ve been drinking’.

“In the end the police were having to drive them in their cars to the next street.”

A police spokeswoman said: “The male had refused to come out of the property and police negotiators were called to ensure the incident was resolved in a safe and appropriate manner.

“Following lengthy negotiations the man was finally arrested at 4am today Friday July 12. T

“There were no other persons in the property.

“The 46-year-old was taken into police custody where he received a mental health assessment, and has now been taken into the care of a secure mental health unit.”