Man, 31, arrested after three-hour stand-off with police negotiators at Portsmouth's Wightlink Ferry Terminal
A MAN who refused to leave a ferry terminal and charged onto a waiting ship, sparking a three-hour stand-off with police negotiators, has been arrested.
The incident took place on the Wightlink Ferry Terminal in Portsmouth just before 3am today.
Officers had been called to remove a group of six men who had refused requests from ferry terminal staff to leave the transport hub.
But when police arrived, one of the men fled, storming onto a waiting ferry and sparking the three-hour stand-off.
A witness, who asked not to be named, said passengers were told to move to the front of the ferry and ‘lie near the fire door’ while police negotiators attempted to calm the man down.
The male, a 31-year-old from the Isle of Wight, has since been arrested and remains in police custody.
A spokeswoman from Hampshire Constabulary said: ‘We were called shortly after 3am to a report of a public order incident at the Wightlink Ferry terminal in Portsmouth.
‘It was reported to us that a group of six men had refused to vacate the ferry terminal having been requested to leave by staff.
‘One of the men then boarded a waiting ferry and refused to leave and specialist officers attended.
‘A 31-year-old man from the Isle of Wight was arrested shortly before 6am on suspicion of aggravated trespass and causing a public nuisance.
‘He remains in police custody at this time.’
The incident has caused widespread disruption to Wightlink services between Portsmouth and Fishbourne.
Delays of up to an hour have been reported on links between the city and the Isle of Wight.
A spokeswoman from the ferry firm said: ‘Wightlink’s Portsmouth-Fishbourne service is experiencing delays because of an earlier customer incident.
‘All customers booked on this route today are likely to be affected by delays of up to one hour.’
For updates on travel, see wightlink.co.uk/plan-your-journey/service-status