Armed police arrest three after swoop on Hampstead estate
Teenagers 'walk out slowly' without need for battering ram
24 May, 2018 — By William McLennan
The scene in South End Close yesterday morning
POLICE carrying automatic weapons swooped onto an estate in Hampstead yesterday (Wednesday) and arrested three young men.
Residents of South End Close left their homes in the morning to the sight of a team of armed officers. They were supported by around a dozen uniformed officers, who surrounded the redbrick blocks at around 8.30am.
One neighbour said: “It all looked pretty extreme. They must have been expecting some serious drama. I came out and saw that police had completely surrounded the block on all sides. Then armed officers went into the block and brought out this bloke and his two associates. It was all done very calmly in the end.”
The drama unfolded in front of parents and young children on their way to school. The officers mustered in the carpark next to the number 24 bus stop, before moving along South End Close.
One witness, who was waiting to board the bus, said they saw two teenagers “walk out slowly” before being searched by unarmed police constables. They described police carrying a red battering ram – which officers refer to as the “big red key” – but in the end it is believed they made a peaceful entrance.
“I think they just knocked on the door and got let in,” one neighbour said. “It didn’t sound like any doors were getting smashed down.”
There were at least six police cars at the scene, with two ambulances on hand to deliver medical assistance. It was not known last night why the men had been arrested or what the nature of the allegations is they face.
The Met did not respond to requests to clarify.