KEEPING YOU INFORMED: Armed police in Birches Head

Staffordshire Police Car with lights on

We were called to reports of a disturbance outside the Birches Head Hotel in Birches Head Road, Stoke-on-Trent, at around 10.30am today (Friday 13 November).

Due to information received armed response officers attended and began carrying out a search of the area.

Two men, both from Stoke-on-Trent and aged 18 and 21, were arrested on suspicion of affray and inquires into the incident are ongoing.

Chief Inspector Neil Hulme, Local Policing Team Commander for Stoke-on-Trent Central, said: “We believe this incident involved people who are known to each other and during the dispute a weapon was discharged.

“We can reassure you that our initial inquiries indicate that this was an imitation firearm or BB gun and we do not believe there is any significant risk to the wider public.

“A number of armed officers remain in the Birches Head area carrying out active inquiries into the incident, along with unarmed officers who are in the area to offer reassurance to residents. Please speak to them if you have any concerns.”

Anyone who witnessed the incident, or who has any information, is asked to contact Staffordshire Police on 101, quoting incident 212 of November 13. Alternatively, you can contact the independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their Anonymous Online Form at

www.crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

UPDATE: Third arrest made

Officers have arrested a third man in connection with this incident.

The man, a 32-year-old from Stoke-on-Trent, was arrested in the Burslem area just before 5pm on suspicion of a firearms offence and he remains in custody for questioning.

Armed response officers remained in the area throughout the day carrying out inquiries but have now left the location.We’d like to thank residents for their patience while we dealt with the incident.