Published: 08:53, 30 August 2019
| Updated: 09:15, 30 August 2019
A teenage boy suspected to have made threats with a gun has been arrested after armed police surrounded a block of flats in Maidstone.
Officers were seen training guns at a block in Massey Close, near Amstrong Road for several hours yesterday afternoon.
Police have now confirmed the response was in relation to an incident in Headcorn, where two males reportedly made threats to a group of people in a field off Grigg Lane.
People were unable to leave their flats
A spokesman said: "The two males then left the scene in a vehicle and, as they were driving away, one of the suspects involved is reported to have been seen in possession of a firearm, described by witnesses as an air weapon.
"No injuries were sustained during the incident.
"Armed officers later attended an address in Massey Close, Maidstone, and arrested a 17-year-old boy from Maidstone on suspicion of possessing a firearm, or imitation firearm, with intent to cause fear of violence and he remains in custody.
"No weapon has been recovered and enquiries to establish the full circumstances are ongoing."
At the height of the incident at Massey Close seven cars were sent, arriving around 3pm.
People living in some areas of the block were told not to leave during the stand-off, while police also blocked others entering the building.
Jim Stoneham, who works at a nearby business, said yesterday: "The officers are wearing helmets and face masks and I can see at least one with a gun, pointing it at the flats.
"I think there may be some inside a block of flats because there are a couple of police in front of the flats.
"There are seven cars, three dog unit cars but I can only count six officers and a couple of dogs.
"Everyone is curious about what is going on, it's not a situation you see everyday. There is a bit of a crowd gathering there now."
Charlie Kemp, 28, who lives in the building, added: “When we left home we saw one police car and didn’t think much of it, then when we came back it was surrounded with cars and armed police.
"No one seems to know what’s going on but it must be serious. No one who lives there is being let back in and I think there are still people inside who have been told they’re not allowed to leave.
"I saw one woman step out the front of the flats and an officer put his finger to his lips as if to tell her to be quiet, and then escorted her away from the building. We’ve had police here before but nothing quite like this.”
At one point there were more than 20 people milling around the street and standing outside the buildings.
Armed officers were also patrolling the playing fields at South Park, while people walked their dogs and children played at the skate park nearby.
Paramedics also treated a woman who collapsed near the scene.
The flats opened in 2012 and offered accommodation to single mothers and pregnant women aged between 16 and 21.
Run by Golding Homes, a spokesman said it was an ongoing police incident and did not want to comment on what was happening.
More by this authorTom Pyman