Police storm knifeman in dramatic Portsmouth stand-off

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RESIDENTS have told of their shock after riot police stormed a house where a man had barricaded himself inside.

Officers, kitted out with shields, body armour and helmets, smashed through the door in Widley Road, Stamshaw, Portsmouth, after attempts to negotiate with him failed.

It was dead scary. I could hear police shouting for him to put the knife down

Jessica Ryan

Moments before officers rammed the door, they had been forced to batter away flaming pieces of clothing and bottles that were hurled from a first-floor window.

Residents living in the street were forced to stay in their homes amid fears for their safety, while police tackled the enraged man, reported to have a knife.

Jessica Ryan, 32, who has lived in the street since September, watched the drama unfold from behind the police cordon.

She said: ‘It was dead scary. I could hear police shouting for him to put the knife down.

‘Then he started throwing burning clothes out of the house. It was quite scary.’

Friend Cassie Smith, of Paulsgrove, was watching with her baby daughter Florence. She said: ‘This has just been a really worrying thing to see.’

The drama began about 11.20am after an incident at the house. The officers first on the scene were threatened by the man, who was thought to have armed himself with a knife.

Calling for support, two police vans and three response vehicles arrived.

A cordon was placed in Widley Road between Jervis Road and Strode Road.

A team of negotiators attempted to calm the man from outside the front of the house, while officers using riot shields covered them.

After about two hours the situation deteriorated and the man began throwing items at the officers, with negotiators pleading with the man to put his knife down.

It was then officers acted, using a battering ram to break down the door.

Inspector Kelvin Shipp praised his officers, professionalism and courage in safely arresting the man.

Speaking after the operation, Insp Shipp said: ‘We got everybody out safe and well.

‘The overriding concern was about everybody’s safety.

‘But we reached a tipping point and were forced to gain entry into the building.’

n A man in his mid-20s was arrested.