Broadwater businesses tell of shock at armed police incident

Staff at businesses in Broadwater have reacted with shock at the armed police incident in the area this morning (January 16).

The emergency services, including armed police and the police helicopter, were called at around 8.30am to Broadwater Street West, Broadwater, to deal with an incident at a property there, which is still ongoing as of 12pm.

The scene of the incident in Broadwater

The scene of the incident in Broadwater

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The road was closed and one side of the road, outside Hanwells shop and the flats above where the emergency response seemed to be focused, was also shut to pedestrians.

Sussex Police confirmed it was responding to 'concerns for the welfare of a man' nearby but has not confirmed any other information.

Lucy Guest, barmaid at The Broadwater pub nearby, said she first realised something serious had happened when she 'opened her curtains at about 9am' and saw the scene. "I was like, 'oh my God'", she said.

The scene of the incident in Broadwater

The scene of the incident in Broadwater

She said she could see six or seven police cars, two ambulances, a paramedic van, armed response vehicles, fire engines, the helicopter and 'some guys with some big old guns', and that the cordon extended from Ian Hart Funeral Service to Northbrook College.

The pub remains open. She added: "In all fairness, they are doing a really good job. It must be quite draining for them.

"They are telling everyone to stay away from Hanwells and the Costa area; no-one can go near there.

"The emergency services have done an amazing job and they are keeping people updated. We're getting a lot of people coming around asking what's going on, but they're keeping them informed and making sure the area is clear."

The scene of the incident in Broadwater

The scene of the incident in Broadwater

Barry Norris, owner of Findon Framing, said this incident had the largest emergency service response he had seen in his 20 years at the shop.

He said: "We have had cars hit the building next door, and lampposts on both sides of us, but this is something else.

"Fortunately, as far as we are aware, no-one has been injured yet."

When he saw the emergency services on his drive in to work, he assumed they were responding to a road traffic collision. But it soon became clear it was more serious.

The scene of the incident in Broadwater

The scene of the incident in Broadwater

He said that pedestrians were allowed to pass on the side of the road by his shop, leading to 'people milling around' to see what was happening.

He added: "We don't know what is going on, but there are a lot of them here so it is obviously containment - because if it moved, you'd have trouble."