All hostages held by knifeman at job centre believed to have been released

Update 10:30am: All the hostages held by a man armed with a knife at a Job Centre Plus in Newcastle are believed to have been released, Northumbria Police said.

Nearby accommodation had been evacuated.

Naveed Ahmed, who owns a nearby fruit shop, said he saw a number of police cars arriving into the area shortly after he opened up at 8am.

The 29-year-old, who runs Byker Fruiterers, said: "There are about 10 or 11 police cars now and there are armoured officers surrounding the job centre."

About two and a half hours after the incident began, Northumbria Police said:

"It is believed that all the hostages have been released and that the man concerned is the only person who remains in the building."

Police at the scene after a man armed with a knife is believed to be holding several members of staff at a Jobcentre Plus in Clifford Street in the Byker area of Newcastle.
Police at the scene after a man armed with a knife is believed to be holding several members of staff at a Jobcentre Plus in Clifford Street in the Byker area of Newcastle.

Earlier: A man armed with a knife is believed to be holding several members of staff at a Job Centre Plus in Newcastle, Northumbria Police has said.

Police were called to Clifford Street, Byker, at around 8am this morning following reports of a man causing a disturbance at the Job Centre Plus.

Officers have attended and found a man armed with a knife had entered the premises and it is believed that several members of staff are being held there. Several other staff members have left.

Specialist negotiators are at the scene and the roads around the premises have been closed as a precaution.

Nearby student accommodation has been evacuated and Byker Metro station has been closed, and no trains are passing through Byker as a precaution.

Police are currently dealing with the incident but there are no reports of any injuries at this time.

It is believed the man responsible is known to the job centre and this is being treated as an isolated incident at this stage.

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