Armed police swoop on Fram 'gunman'

ARMED police have swooped to arrest a 62-year-old man after a replica pistol was brandished in the centre of Framlingham today.Following a tip-off, the police helicopter was used to trace a man to an address in The Elms where a replica 9mm handgun was recovered.

By James Fraser

STUNNED neighbours saw armed police swoop to arrest a 62-year-old man after a gun scare in the centre of a Suffolk market town.

As a police helicopter hovered overhead, officers recovered a replica 9mm handgun from an address in The Elms, Framlingham.

It happened after a member of the public saw a man carrying a realistic-looking firearm in the town's Market Hill at 2.35pm yesterday and alerted police.

A man was arrested on suspicion of possessing a firearm or imitation with intent to cause violence after police surrounded The Elms, a block of flats owned by Suffolk Heritage Housing Association.

No one was injured during the incident and other people living in the housing complex remained in their homes.

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A 20-year-old who lives in Bridge Street, Framlingham, heard the helicopter hovering over his house.

He said: "When I came out of my house with my fiancee there was a police officer standing by the bakery opposite and a car parked across the road.

"There was also a policeman outside the flats talking on the radio and it looked like he was talking to the helicopter as he kept looking up at it.

"We park our car in the Elms car park behind the flats, and as we got to our car there was another police car and officer in the car park.

"The helicopter was hovering in the sky for about 20 minutes. I didn't actually see anything apart from the big police presence. It was all quite exciting for Framlingham."

An elderly man who watched the drama unfold said: "I saw about six uniformed officers escort a man from the flats.

"The helicopter alerted me to the commotion, but I had no idea what it was all about.

"It certainly livened up a Sunday afternoon in the town."

The 62-year-old man has been released on bail to return to Leiston police station on February 14.