Armed siege in Edinburgh city centre


Edinburgh SiegeBy Alexander Lawrie

A MAN has been arrested after an armed siege in a busy Edinburgh city centre street yesterday. (Fri)

The 39 year-old was said to have been seen in agitated state waving what was described as a Samurai sword at passers-by outside his home in the city’s Roxburgh Street at 9.30am.

Minutes earlier his wife had been spotted crying hysterically outside their home.

After receiving a 999 call armed police swarmed on the area and a stand-off ensued which lasted around four hours.

The streets surrounding the flat were immediately sealed off as police tried to talk the man down.

Trained police negotiators were then seen speaking to the man through his door, and at around 1pm several officers wearing stab-proof vests entered the bottom floor flat.

At 1.15pm the man, carrying a walking stick, was seen being bundled into out of his flat and into a police van.

A police source said the man had not yet been charged as he was immediately taken to hospital following his detention.

It is thought the man suffers from severe back pain and needed medication.

Police descend on area

John Mackay, 64, was sitting in a café opposite when police descended on the area.

He said: “I was having breakfast across the road when all of a sudden about 30 police turned up. Some of them were carrying automatic guns and were carrying riot shields.

“Somebody in the café said they had seen a man running about the street with a Samurai sword.

“It’s usually really quiet around here and you don’t expect this sort of thing so early in the morning.”

And a neighbour who wished to remain anonymous added: “I’ve seen the couple about and to be honest I’m not surprised about his behaviour.

“She was outside their house this morning crying and shouting, but I didn’t like to interfere.

“Then all of a sudden there were lots of police with guns, riot shields and police dogs and the whole thing lasted about four hours before they managed to get him out.

“I saw him being searched and then taken into the back of a police van.”

The incident happened just yards from a St Leonard’s Nursery School and opposite a Salvation Army drop-in centre.

The recently married couple are thought to have lived in Roxburgh Street for around two years.

A spokesperson for Lothian and Borders Police said: “A 39 year-old man is in police custody after an incident in the Roxburgh Street area of Edinburgh.”

The man now faces a potential assortment of charges including breach of the peace and carrying an offensive weapon when he is released from hospital.