Armed police called to bookmakers as hostage situation unfolds

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    Armed police have been called to a bookies in North East England following reports that at least one person was being held hostage at the site. Officers and police vans can still be seen at the Coral Bookmakers in Jarrow where the situation continues.

    According to reports, a suspect had attempted to rob the shop before taking a person hostage. One neighbour, who can see the bookmakers from his flat, said that he believed a hostage situation was still ongoing.

    Shocked locals had made their way out from their homes onto the street, some in their pyjamas, to see what was happening. Police officers have also cordoned off routes around the Viking Shopping Centre where the bookies is situated. So far, police have not revealed any details about what is happening.

    Ongoing incident

    A spokesperson for Northumbria Police force would only say that its officers were busy dealing with an ongoing incident. However, according to further reports, three people have been released from Coral, while one still remains inside as well as the suspect.

    Shots are understood to have been heard, and police and paramedics have stormed the building. More details are set to follow from police. This latest incident follows a number of armed robberies in Jarrow in recent years.

    A year ago, brave shop assistant Sarah Stevenson refused to let armed raiders steal the takings at the shop she was working in in South Tyneside. Meanwhile, in an earlier attempted robbery, a retired jeweller told of how he fought off masked gunmen who broke into his home demanding that he hand over cash.

    John Olsen had been working in his garage when three robbers burst in and beat him up. But, despite his ordeal, he refused to hand anything over to the men and they ran off without taking anything.