Last Thursday at approximately 6.30am, witnesses report seeing armed police officers entering the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Wellington Street, as part of a siege to arrest a man on suspicion for firearms offences.
In the ‘planned operation’, the officers made the arrest and the man has been taken into custody. The gunman’s hotel room has been cordoned off and a thorough search is underway.
One video circulating online appears to show a steady stream of police officers silently entering the building with one witness, Kate Parks, recalling the event to LeedsLive:
‘I arrived at about 6.30am and I saw lots of police cars outside the Crowne Plaza. I think they were stopping people walking along the pavement. There were about five or six marked vehicles and about three unmarked vehicles. I just saw all the vehicles and wondered what happened.’
There were reportedly no injuries and no shots fired at the scene. By 8:45am, the police had left the scene. The hotel reopened with the suspects room remaining cordoned off for inspection. A spokesperson from the Crowne Plaza hotel said:
‘We can confirm that we are working closely with the police to help them with their enquiries. As this is an ongoing police investigation we cannot comment further at this time.’
Three days on, no further information has surfaced and it is unclear if this arrest was made in connection with any other, previous armed incidents that have taken place earlier this year.
Earlier this year, masked armed suspects robbed the Philip Stoner jewellery store in Leeds City centre. The group of four, armed with axes and crowbars, smashed into the jewellery store on the morning of 29th January escaping with a shoulder bag full of goods.
In this premeditated armed robbery, no one was injured. Police later arrested a man in connection with the armed robbery and he remains in custody as enquiries are ongoing.
A statement from the West Yorkshire Police appeal reads:
‘Anyone with information is asked to contact Leeds District CID via 101 quoting crime reference 13200051700’.
Statistics taken from police.uk indicate that arrests for possession of weapons reached 135 between 2019-2020 with an additional 310 robberies conducted within the last 10 months.
Members of the public are urged to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to West Yorkshire police or in any emergency, dial 999.