Siege ends peacefully after 18 hours

A DRAMATIC 18-hour siege came to a peaceful end last night as two brothers gave themselves in to police. More than 15 frightened residents were evacuated from their homes in Colchester yesterday morning after the men, who were thought to be armed, barricaded themselves in their upstairs flat.

A DRAMATIC 18-hour siege came to a peaceful end last night as two brothers gave themselves in to police.

More than 15 frightened residents were evacuated from their homes in Colchester yesterday morning after the men, who were thought to be armed, barricaded themselves in their upstairs flat.

Police had been called to the address in Rogation Close, Stanway, just after 10.30pm on Sunday after reports that two men in their twenties were brandishing a gun.

About 30 officers, including trained negotiators, were deployed to the scene to try to persuade them to give themselves up throughout yesterday.


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The men, aged 21 and 22, could be seen leaning out of an upstairs window as police attempted to talk them out of the house.

And, after 18 hours of stalemate, the brothers gave themselves up and were arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage.

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Last night detectives in Colchester were continuing to question the men. It is not thought any guns were found.

The drama had unfolded on Sunday evening after what is understood to have been a domestic incident took place in the flat.

It is thought a father, who owned the flat, called the police after a disagreement and when he returned the brothers were locked in and refusing to come out.

Police were unsure if there was a gun on the premises or whether one brother was holding the other hostage.

Neighbours were awakened during the night by the two brothers shouting and climbing on to the roof through the loft space.

One of the brothers started throwing masonry from the roof and during the night residents reported hearing shots fired.

Essex Police set up a control centre in the nearby Stanway road policing unit. As well as the 30 officers in located in key strategic points around the housing estate, there were also teams of armed police and dog units available as backup.

By daybreak, despite negotiators keeping in constant contact with the men by telephone, they still refused to leave the flat and officers decided they had no option but to evacuate the homes nearby.

Essex Police spokesman Peter Laurie said: "About 15 residents have been evacuated purely as a precaution as it is best they are out of the way."

Some residents were taken to a community hall in nearby Oatfield Close whilst others decided the time waiting would be best spent with relatives.

Wheatfield Road - the main route to the cul-de-sac - was sealed off to the public throughout the day and residents were asked to stay away.

The property involved in the siege incident is owned by Colchester Borough Council.

Carole Hughes, customer services manager for Colchester Borough Homes, said: "We are working closely with the police at the scene of the incident. The safety of our tenants is of prime concern to both ourselves and the police and so residents in the block of flats have been evacuated to a nearby council building to ensure their safety.

"In times of emergency it is the council's job to look after the welfare of members of the public and council staff are on hand to ensure they are comfortable during this time."

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