Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Is anyone there? Police call off armed siege of empty building...

An armed siege of a house in the West Midlands has been called off this afternoon - after police took over three hours to realise there was nobody inside.

The drama began at 11 this morning following reports to police that someone with a weapon had entered the property.

Staffordshire Police helicopter was scrambled, marksmen trained their weaopns on the house, dogs deployed, streets cordoned off, neighbours told to stay indoors and a local school was 'locked down' officers shouted "Come out".

But at 2.30pm this afternoon, officers entered the mid-terrace property and found there was nobody inside!

There'll no doubt be lots of leg-pulling, but reports of people wielding weapons have to be taken seriously and the officers had to be sure what they were getting into when they entered the house.

I don't blame them for being cautious, but three hours does seem a rather long time to realise they were on a wild goose chase.

Picture and details from the Stoke Sentinel. Hat-tip to 5Live.


Lacy said...

Since when has North Staffordshire been in the West Midlands?

fairdealphil said...

dunno. you tell me...

which region do you think it's in...?

Lacy said...


Its a county north of the West Midlands....and this incident took place in the north of that county near Stoke.

John Gray said...

This post is in poor taste. Remember a firearms officer was murdered only a little while ago. if it take 24 hours to check out a place, its fine by me. Please apologise and withdraw it. You don't know what you are talking about.

fairdealphil said...


sorry, don't get your point.

go to

enter staffordshire in the county finder and it will confirm that staffs - north, south east and west, is still in the West Midlands.

have i made a mistake?

fairdealphil said...


thanks for your comment, sorry if you're offended.

i did make the point that

'reports of people wielding weapons have to be taken seriously and the officers had to be sure what they were getting into when they entered the house.'

but i believe it's fair comment to say three hours does seem a rather long time to realise they were on a wild goose chase.

so having considered your request, i'm inclined not to apologise or withdraw my post.

best regards

Anonymous said...

In the light of John Gray's comment I read Phil's post again.

It's fine.

There's nothing wrong with it.

I only wish I could get the bugger to post on Thomas Deacon City Academy down the road, rather than going over to the Potteries to get his inspiration.

Lacy said... right thinking person would consider Staffs to be in West Midlands, or recognise ANY of the arbitrary regional boundaries that seem to have been created by some governmental department or associated quango....this looks very similar to the abortive police merger plan boudaries.

The fact that some faceless beurocrat can bundle a whole raft of counties together, tie them up into a neat parcel then call it something doesn't change a thing......Staffs is not in the West Midlands.....

Oh....and how long would it take YOU, having acted on reliable information, to enter the house with some degree of certainty that all would be well? critical of police would your blog have been had they entered the house after 2 1/2 hours and someone got seriously injured or worse?

How simple a police officers job must seem from the safety of your desk.....surely you should know better.

fairdealphil said...


Staffs. West Midlands.

They're married mate.

Get used to it...

Just as we have to get used to North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire not being in Lincolnshire.

Or even in the same region!

i don't know staffs well enough to comment which region it should be in, but the fact is it's in west mids.

it ain't gonna change anytime soon!

Anonymous said...

The seige took place in Chesterton which is on the north-western fringes outside the Potteries.

By no stretch of the imagination, bureaucratic or otherwise, are the Potteries in the West Midlands.

What may be confusing Phil is that there are parts of South Staffordshire that are West Midlands.

As for Lacy's last two paragraph's it seems to me that Phil's post falls into the category of fair comment. Yes of course it's difficult and dangerous work staking out premises, but if you read Phil's post again you will see that he is quite fair minded about what happened.

fairdealphil said...

i'm clearly not a staffie and happy to stand corrected if i've got it wrong...

i did check the location of Staffordshire on the web which assured me it was part of the West Midlands region.

in view of the various comments, the where exactly Staffs - north or south is located is a matter of debate.

can someone - preferably from that part of the country - please give a definitive answer!!!

fairdealphil said...


thanks for the nudge on academies...i will comment when i can...soon!

Lacy said...


I have lived, and worked in the West Midlands all my life (46 years). I think we have to distinguish between REAL county boundaries as recognised by most people and those regions that have been created for administrative convenience.

If you take a look here..... will see that the West Midlands ( as most people would identify it) is but one county within the West Midlands. Confused?...well, that's beurocracy for ya!

If you click on the map on that site it will take you to a larger map giving you an overview of the West Midlands REGION.......I believe the West Midlands proper covers the areas of Coventry, Solihull, Birmingham, Dudley, Sandwell, Wolverhampton and Walsall.....nothing you can see, that's the small bit in the middle. I don't believe that anyone living in, say, Oswestry or Hereford would say they live in the West Midlands.......