A busy shopping centre in the middle of Portsmouth has been the scene of a hostage situation earlier today.

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Police at the scene of a hostage situation

Armed police were called to the scene of hostage situation in Vigin Media store in Portsmouth.

A spokesperson said: “Police received a report of one man making threats with a knife within a business address on Commercial Road, Portsmouth.

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Armed police at the scene of the crime

“The surrounding area was evacuated and sealed off to the public while specialist police negotiators were called to speak with the man as part of our response to resolve the situation safely and peacefully.”

One shopper, described the scene as “mad”.  Declan Cordwell also said: “We drove round the back of Mothercare going towards the multi-storey car park and we saw about 15 police officers, five ambulances, police with dogs and riot shields.

Local shopper also took to social media to express their shock.  Twitter: Matt Crennell said: “Armed police in the Virgin Media store on commercial road.”

Another local shopper Oliver Nelson said: “I was walking along Commercial Road when suddenly everyone stopped and was looking into the shops.

“There were police everywhere and, from what they were saying, men with machetes went into the old Virgin Media store.  It is pretty unnerving.”

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