Dramatic scenes unfolded in Hanwell this afternoon when armed police carried out a major operation in a busy shopping thoroughfare.
Traffic was brought to a standstill and cordons were set up as a man was confronted in Uxbridge Road by officers carrying firearms before being lead away at about 2pm.
His vehicle was left in the middle of the street where it was checked by police before being driven off by an officer. The incident is linked to the Met’s Trident gang crime command. And at the nearby Barchester Close estate, plain clothes officers were out in force while a sniffer dog was deployed.
The A4020 Uxbridge Road was sealed off in both directions at St George’s Road this afternoon (Thursday), causing traffic disruption and affect the 83, 207, 427, 607, E3 and E8 bus routes. The cordon was lifted at around 3pm.
A number of shops in Hanwell were at the epicentre of the incident.
Jaz Singh works at Paul Golf Audiovisual and Domestic Appliance store, which was directly opposite the scene. He said: “I was just in the store when I suddenly heard someone shouting ‘armed police, down on the ground.’
“The first thing I thought was that there was yet more trouble in the middle of Hanwell. People are always having punch-ups, but it was a shock when I saw police carrying guns.”
Tony Chrysfis of Tony’s hairdressers in Uxbridge Road said: “I was very shocked when I heard what had happened. You don’t expect this sort of thing to happen in Hanwell but then again it could happen anywhere.”
Gary Mills of Hanwells, a Rolls Royce and Bentley car dealership in Uxbridge Road, directly opposite the scene of the incident said: “Out of nowhere we heard a lot of shouting and saw police officers carrying guns. We realised there was some sort of incident but it wasn’t very clear what was going on.”
A Met Police spokeswoman said: “This afternoon a pre-planned operation, involving armed officers, stopped a vehicle on Uxbridge Road, Hanwell. An investigation by Trident detectives is ongoing.”