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Six arrests in Norwich armed police raid

PUBLISHED: 16:15 25 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:32 01 July 2010

Armed police at the incident in Norwich

Armed police at the incident in Norwich

Peter Walsh

Six people have now been arrested as part of a dramatic police operation in the heart of Norwich in which armed officers swooped on a car.

Six people have now been arrested as part of a dramatic police operation in the heart of Norwich in which armed officers swooped on a car.

As the Evening News reported yesterdayWitnesses, 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 at about 2pm.

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

A police spokeswoman said: “Norfolk Constabulary can confirm that as a result of an ongoing investigation into a serious offence six people have been arrested. Of the six four are male and two are women all aged in their 20s and 30s and from the Norwich area. They remain in custody at locations across the county.

“As part of the investigation armed officers were deployed to an area of the city yesterday (Thursday, 24 June) afternoon. At no time was there a threat to any members of the public this was very much a contained operation.

“Whilst this is an ongoing operation any further information will be released pro-actively by the Constabulary Newsroom.”

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.

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

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