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Picture shows dramatic armed police operation in Norwich

PUBLISHED: 16:00 25 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:32 01 July 2010

Armed police in force at the incident on Dereham Road. Picture submitted by reader Robert Warren.

Armed police in force at the incident on Dereham Road. Picture submitted by reader Robert Warren.

Tara Greaves

This picture shows a dramatic police operation in the heart of Norwich in which armed officers swooped on a car and arrested two men.

Witnesses, who described the scene like something out of a police television drama, said officers shot three of the car's tyres at the busy junction of Dereham Road and Grapes Hill.

Stuart Milner, who works in the Cane Furniture Centre, on the corner of the junction, said he was out in the back of the shop when he heard a gun shot at about 2pm yesterday.

“I ran through the shop and heard two more shots. When I got outside I saw a car had been rammed by one of the unmarked police cars and was surrounded by officers. Its tyres had been shot out.

“They dragged one guy out and then another, I think through a window which had been smashed,” said Mr Milner, from Cromer, who estimates more than four cars, both marked and unmarked, were involved.

“They closed the road for more than an hour and people in the cars behind were talking about how there had been bumper to bumper smashes as other drivers stopped sharply.”

Drinkers in the Reindeer, on Dereham Road, had a clear view of the action through the pub's corner windows.

Regular David Hansen, who lives in Norwich, talked of their shock as they heard gunshots.

“It was like something off the television, like CSI. We all leapt up when the first shot was fired,” he said.

It is thought officers had been following the car for some time before intercepting it at the junction, with the Force helicopter also involved.

“We rushed over to the window and watched it all happen. The police were obviously not taking any chances,” added Mr Hansen.

“The road was blocked for a long time and I think a lot of people were angry at having to wait. There were a lot of buses in the queue as well.”

Not only was the road busy with traffic, but also pedestrians who were walking into the city centre and also making use of the local shops.

Another man, who asked not to be named, described the incident as like something from the television programme Police, stop!

“We were all very shocked, nothing like this has ever happened before,” he said.

A Norfolk Constabulary spokesman said: “As part of an on-going investigation, arrests have been made in Norwich involving armed officers.”

It is unclear if a third man was involved as witnesses reported seeing someone hurt and a spokesman for the East of England Ambulance Service said they received a call at 2.40pm to the junction to a report of an assault.

A man was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital by ambulance with injuries, believed to include broken ribs.

Did you see the drama? Call Tara Greaves on 01603 772446.

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