Man arrested after knife siege at job centre

The scene in Newcastle.
The scene in Newcastle.
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A knifeman who held hostages at a job centre has been arrested.

The man, believed to be known to the Jobcentre Plus in Newcastle, held "several" staff members in the building during an ordeal that lasted more than two hours on Friday morning.

Specialist negotiators were called in and the bomb squad was also sent to the scene in Clifford Street in the Byker area in the east of the city following reports that the man may also have had an explosive device.

Northumbria Police said shortly before 10.30am that all hostages had been released and the man was "engaging with our negotiators".

In a statement they added that the bomb disposal unit had been sent "as a precaution".

Eyewitnesses in the area said police cars and armoured officers were on the scene shortly after 8am.

Police said there was no information to suggest the incident was terror-related.

Police said: "The man has been arrested by officers and is in police custody. A search of the premises will now take place so the cordon will remain."

Roads in the area and Byker Metro station remain closed.

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