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Armed police arrest man who assaulted workers in secure area at Norwich International Airport

PUBLISHED: 12:41 25 April 2017 | UPDATED: 19:21 25 April 2017

Police at Norwich International Airport on Tuesday morning (Picture: Dan Grimmer)

Police at Norwich International Airport on Tuesday morning (Picture: Dan Grimmer)

Archant

Investigations are continuing following an incident at Norwich Airport after a man accessed a secure part of the site and assaulted two men.

Police at one of the gates to Norwich Airport where a man was arrested after assaulting workers in a secure area. PICTURE: Denise BradleyPolice at one of the gates to Norwich Airport where a man was arrested after assaulting workers in a secure area. PICTURE: Denise Bradley

Armed police were called to the airport at just before 2.30am this morning following a 999 call from an airport worker who reported an intruder on site.

The intruder entered a hangar and approached two workers, assaulting one with a mug and another with what is believed to be a piece of broken glass. The men, suffered minor cuts and bruising and did not require medical treatment.

The suspect then approached a lorry, which was stationary, and entered the cab before verbally threatening a member of security staff who was nearby. Officers arrived on scene and detained the suspect. The vehicle was not driven by the suspect.

The hangar has been sealed off while police carry out initial enquiries. The incident did not affect any public areas of the site and the airport remains open and flights are operating as normal.

The suspect, a 31-year-old man from London, was arrested on suspicion of assault inflicting actual bodily harm and was taken into custody at Wymondham Police Investigation Centre, where he remains.

Superintendent Dave Marshall, Norwich Policing Commander, said: “The incident was resolved promptly with officers on scene within eight minutes of the 999 call being made and the suspect detained at 2.41am.

“We are treating this as an isolated incident and we are not looking for anyone else in connection with it. This is not currently being treated as a terror-related incident.

“There will be visible police patrols around the airport to provide reassurance however there is no information at this time to suggest there is any threat to the wider public.”

There were reports on Twitter that staff arriving for work at business near the airport had, at one point, been told to remain in their cars.

The hangar has been sealed off while officers carry out initial enquiries.

No public areas of the airport have been affected by this incident – police said the airport remained open and flights were operating as normal.

And it was business as usual at the airport today.

The only sign that anything unusual had happened there in the early hours were the three empty police cars parked outside the entrance.

Inside, all was calm. There were no visible signs of heightened security, no armed police patrolling the terminal.

While police have said the hangar which the arrested man managed to get into has been sealed off, there was no indication inside the main terminal that much had happened.

People were continuing to check in as normal, with flights unaffected by the drama which had unfolded earlier.

On the information desk, staff were dealing with routine calls, while passengers arriving to jet off were unaware of the earlier arrest.

A spokesperson for Norwich Airport added: “Our first priority is to ensure the safety of passengers and staff and appropriate steps have been taken to ensure the safe operation of the airport which is open as normal.”

Ross McDermott, head of aviation and specialist services with Dardan Security, which is involved in security at Norwich Airport, said one of the company’s guards had gone to assist following the incident overnight.

Mr McDermott, a former detective chief inspector at Norfolk police and specialist in counter-terrorism measures and hostage crisis negotiation, said: “It would appear this man has been interrupted in the course of whatever he was doing and apprehended and that was a good piece of work in relation to our guys and the quick response of the police.”

“Clearly we’re all very aware of the security threat on an aviation site and its now a case of working together when we know more about the investigation to pick up any potential lessons learned and make sure we address any security measures accordingly.”

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