Published: 00:00, 27 March 2014
Armed police arrested a 55-year-old man on suspicion of assault and firearms offences after placing parts of a high-end housing estate on lockdown last night.
The drama unfolded near the Beechwood Community Hall - close to Marigold Way in Barming. It is known locally as the Herb Estate.
A police spokesman confirmed their presence was for a 'planned operation,' believed to involve bringing a person out of a house. It is understood the activity was routine, and sources at the scene said no-one had been in danger but an arrest had "proved difficult."
Every entry point to the square and community centre was sealed off by police patrols. These included the hospital end of Tarragon Road, and the Queen's Road side. Marigold Way was also closed.
It left many residents stranded either stuck in their cars or outside in the cold as they were prevented from returning to their homes. One woman told police she had left as the incident unfolded around 6pm, but was worried about her home catching fire from unattended cooking.
A children's dance class at the community centre was evacuated half way through and the rest of the evening's schedule was been cancelled.
A witness at the time said: "There is a massive police presence and it is causing cars to build up all round the estate. I could see armed police by the children's play area and a police riot van.
"But the police didn't seem unduly concerned and kept politely asking people to be patient."
Video: Armed police during the gun incident at Barming
The incident was scaled down around 7.30pm and officers were seen searching a property in Tarragon Road, directly opposite the children's playground.
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