Three arrested, Cobridge, Stoke-on-Trent

NEWS: Three men are currently in custody after being arrested at an address in Cobridge, Stoke-on-Trent, this morning (Fri).

As part of a pre-planned operation both armed and unarmed officers were deployed to the address on Windermere Street.

At approximately 6am three men at the property, aged 22, 28 and 33, were arrested on suspicion of possession of a firearm.

They have been taken into custody for questioning.

A detailed search of the property is now underway.

As a result of the increased police activity in the area local neighbourhood officers are on patrol to offer support and reassurance to the local community.

Update for residents of Newcastle

I know a number of you are concerned about the a incident on Wednesday

PHOTO Ch Insp Pete Owen
Ch Insp Pete Owen

morning. I am your local police commander and I wanted to take a couple of minutes to  update and reassure the residents of Chesterton, Newcastle and the surrounding areas.

At approximately 9 o’clock on, Wednesday 2nd December, a lady who was walking her dog in Brick Kiln Lane reported seeing a man who she believed was carrying a rifle in the fields.  The lady was not threatened in any way and was aware that some people do shoot rabbits in that area.

With incidents of this type, although an individual does not appear to pose a threat, there is always the chance of a stray pellet causing injury or damage.  A patrol was therefore sent to search the area with a view to checking if the man was shooting the gun legally and also to provide suitable advice as to the safety of others.

Whilst officers were searching the area they could hear shots being fired which sounded like an air rifle.  The officers were aware of the nearby school and to ensure the safety of the children a decision was made to attend Chesterton Primary School to prevent the children going out into the playground whilst the incident was being dealt with.

After a short while no more shots could be heard.  The area was searched by officers with the help of the police helicopter, however the man was not found.

I would like to reassure the local community that it appears nobody was in any danger from the man shooting.  He appeared to have been shooting in the fields.  With incidents like these it is important that we take all reasonable measures to keep people safe which in this case included contacting the school.  I also appreciate the increased concern due to what has recently happened in Paris, however, it appears in all likelihood the man in this incident was shooting rabbits or other wildlife.

Chief Inspector Peter Owen

Local Policing Team Commander

NEWS: Three teenagers charged following incident in Hanley, S-o-T

Three teenagers have been charged following a firearms incident in Hanley in August.

The three males, who cannot be named for legal reasons, have each been charged with one count of possessing a loaded/unloaded firearm and suitable ammunition in a public place.
They are due to appear before magistrates in Newcastle on December 17.

They are a 16-year-old and 17-year-old from Manchester and a 17-year-old from Stoke-on-Trent.

The three were arrested in Hanley on August 4 after they were spotted acting suspiciously.

As a result of the information received both armed and unarmed officers were called to the city centre, along with colleagues from the dog support unit, to respond to the incident.

UPDATE: Armed search concludes in Keele

Armed searches of the Keele area have concluded following a firearms incident on Saturday 10 October.

At around 10.30pm police were called to a farm in Three Mile Lane, Keele, after a farm worker disturbed a group of men in an outbuilding. The men ran off and the worker followed in a vehicle. It is reported that as they ran away one of the men fired a weapon at the worker.

Fortunately, no one was injured in the incident but the worker was left shaken. His vehicle window was damaged. A forensic search of the scene is ongoing.

It is believed there were six men, aged in their twenties or thirties and they’re believed to be foreign nationals.

It is possible the men are linked to an earlier incident at Keele Services on Saturday morning when men were seen climbing from the back of a HGV. Officers responded immediately and arrested a number of individuals but additional men made off.

Due to the close proximity to the services it is likely the men found at the farm are the outstanding males but this cannot be confirmed at this time.

After an initial search on Saturday night a number of specially trained armed response officers carried out further searches of the area yesterday (Sunday) with assistance from police dogs and the police helicopter. No one was located and searches have now concluded.

Chief Inspector Clare Riley, Newcastle Local Policing Team Commander, said: “Fortunately no one was injured during this incident but we have taken the report seriously and carried out thorough inquiries to trace those involved, sadly with no result.

“A number of officers have carried out detailed searches of surrounding land, woodland and buildings. They also spoke to residents and carried out checks on three suspicious men seen in Madeley but it was established they were not connected to the incident.

“Colleagues from neighbouring forces and staff at Keele Services have been made aware and immigration are dealing with those arrested on Saturday morning.

“We can reassure residents that there have been no further sightings of the men but please report anything suspicious to us by calling 101.”

WITNESS APPEAL: SUSPECTED ROAD RAGE INCIDENT

We are appealing for information following an incident in Newcastle, and then Blurton, yesterday evening (Tues).

Officers were called to the Liverpool Road area of Newcastle following a suspected road rage incident.

The occupants of a vehicle called police to report the male occupants of a blue Mercedes had threatened them and it is believed they were in possession of a firearm.

Due to the information received armed officers were deployed.

Officers carried out vehicle inquiries, address checks and conducted an extensive search in order to locate the Mercedes.

It was located in the Blurton area just before 8pm but abandoned in the Church Road area following a short pursuit by officers.

An extensive search involving officers on the ground, together with the force helicopter, was carried out to locate the vehicle’s occupants, but they are still outstanding.

An investigation into the incident is now underway with several lines of inquiry being pursued.

The vehicle was recovered and will now be subject to a detailed forensic examination.

Anyone who witnessed the suspected road rage incident in Newcastle, or the Mercedes travelling from Newcastle to Blurton, is asked to call Staffordshire Police on 101 quoting incident 614 of August 25, or the independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their Anonymous Online Form at http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org.
No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

How police respond to reports of firearms in public places

If you are seen pointing a gun at someone, the only response for the police is to send a team of highly trained armed police officers with a range of very real firearms. These officers will be supported by police dogs and unarmed officers.
What else would you expect us to do?

 When we receive information that a person may be in possession of a firearm we have to take that information seriously. Our top priority is keeping members of the public safe. Very quickly a risk assessment is carried out to assess potential risk to members of the public, police officers and the individuals concerned. We have to treat the threat as real so we respond with real firearms.

Information from members of the public is taken into account along with any intelligence we may have. Our colleagues in CCTV control units around the county can also assist by monitoring the incident location and provide live pictures of what is happening to our control room.

Firearms officers, trained to a national standard, will always be deployed to a suspected firearms incident. They will be supported by a highly trained and accredited firearms commander.

Additional resources, including the dog support unit and the force helicopter, may also be deployed. Unarmed officers will also be on hand to provide support and reassurance in the affected community.

Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 19.33.32 The decision to deploy firearms officers is never taken lightly, when armed officers are deployed they are authorised to use the tactics and weapons they have.

If an individual is believed to be in possession of a firearm we have to take the appropriate action. We cannot take the risk of not sending firearms officers.

We appreciate that members of the public will be concerned when they see firearms officers responding to an incident, but our response is always carefully considered.

Anyone who chooses to carry BB guns, or imitation firearms, needs to understand they could be challenged by firearms officers at any time. They could be faced with a real firearm pointed at them and an officer shouting instructions. The officers have to make a split second decision about if a threat is real or not from a distance.

The actions of those carrying such weapons for fun causes fear amongst other people. It is not a game.Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 19.33.41

During yesterday’s firearms deployment in Hanley officers recovered what was believed to be two firearms. Following examination these items have been confirmed as BB guns. A quantity of ammunition was also recovered.

Three teenagers arrested in connection with this incident have been bailed, pending further inquiries.

We want to reassure members of the public what happened in Hanley yesterday was an isolated incident and no threats were made to passers-by.

There is no cause for undue concern and gun crime in the county remains low.

Watch the video from the man who leads the Firearms teams in Staffordshire explaining how we respond.

Armed police respond to reports of teenagers with guns in City Centre

NEWS: Four males have been arrested in Hanley this afternoon after they were spotted acting suspiciously. Colleagues from the city centre’s CCTV control unit alerted us to the young males after they were seen to be in possession of what looked like a firearm.

Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 21.05.05

As a result of the information received both armed and unarmed officers were called to the city centre, along with colleagues from the dog support unit. With support from the CCTV unit the males were located and detained at approximately 4.15pm in the Stafford Street area. Officers have recovered what is believed to be two firearms.

These will now be subject to examination. The males have been taken into custody where they will be questioned in connection with the incident. Public safety is our top priority and as a result of the information we received the appropriate resources were deployed into Hanley this afternoon.

We are committed to keeping our communities safe and reassured. An investigation into this incident is underway and witnesses are asked to call us on 101 quoting incident 482 of August 4, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.