ARMED officers carrying guns and riot shields surrounded a house after a man barricaded himself inside and made a series of threats.

Dog units and fire crews joined police in Harmsworth Crescent, Hangleton, this morning in a stand-off which lasted more than four hours.

A police helicopter was also scrambled and hovered overhead as the incident unfolded.

The Argus:

The force was called shortly before 10am to reports from neighbours that there was a "disturbance at the house".

This triggered a huge response from the force as armed units, riot police vans and more flooded into nearby streets.

Residents described how they had been told by passing officers to "get back from the windows and shut them" as officers dealt with the incident.

The Argus:

Others said they were shocked to see "police carrying riot shields and massive guns" in the area.

One resident, who did not wish to be named, said: "(There are) armed police everywhere; dogs, a helicopter and riot equipment.

"(The) fire brigade are getting hoses ready and there are several vans.

"It’s frightening. My seven-year old is petrified and had a melt down when they saw the gun.

"This is a small, community minded place. It’s hard to believe this is happening."

The Argus:

Shortly after 12pm, Sussex Police released a statement on the incident which said they had been "called to a house where a man is threatening to self-harm inside".

The force also said it was not believed that anybody else was inside the house with the man, and a specialist negotiator was engaging with him.

Shortly after midday, an ambulance arrived at the scene.

The Argus:

At 4pm, police provided an update on the situation.

The force said the specialist negotiator had continued to engage with the man inside the house for several hours.

But, earlier this afternoon, the man had stopped communicating with the negotiator. So, shortly before 2pm, officers entered the house.

A spokesman for the force said: "The man was taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton as a precaution for treatment.

"A 31-year-old man from Hove was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and remained in custody on Wednesday afternoon."

Sussex Police also "thanked the local community for their patience and co-operation while the incident was brought to a successful conclusion".