Siege! Two men arrested after six-hour rooftop stand-off
Cordons and road closures in place
26 March, 2019 — By Tom Foot
The two men on the roof as the sun set over Kilburn on Tuesday
SCORES of people were told it was not safe for them to go home while two men fled police onto rooftops in Kilburn, triggering a six hour siege earlier.
Armed police were called after the suspects ran away from officers and climbed onto nearby houses in Kingsgate Road. Onlookers said they had seen the men keeping warm by doing press-ups and cartwheels. There are also reports that tiles and slates had been thrown to the ground.
Police said they had seen two males “tampering with a motorcycle” in nearby Mazenod Avenue shortly after 5pm on Tuesday.
“They were challenged by police and fled, making their way onto the roof of a nearby building in Kingsgate Road,” said a Met Police spokesman. The stand off only came to an end after midnight with both suspects taken into custody.
A cordon in place. Credit: James King
One member of the public reported seeing one of the men in possession of a firearm, said the Met.
This was not confirmed, the spokesman added, but said specialist firearm officers had been in attendance as a precaution.
Our reporters were at the scene all evening, as cordons were erected around all entrances to the Kingsgate estate, Quex Road and Kingsgate Road, at the Gascony Avenue junction.
Dozens of police were on the scene while two helicopters hovered over NW6 for six hours.
Suzanne Jenkins, 54, had been sitting on the pavement waiting to be go home for dinner since 6pm.
She said: “I’ve just been told to wait so what else can I do? I’m ok with my music and I’ve got a sandwich but there are lots of families stranded.”
At each cordon, crowds built up with elderly, teenagers and parents with small children. Police told frustrated residents to go for tea at the Sacred Heart Church in Quex Road. Tempers began to flare but officers were telling residents it was not safe for them to go home.
Pictures from the scene show two men on the roof. Credit: James King
Neighbours complained about the helicopter which has been circling for hours.
The police apologised for the noise adding its presence was necessary to “provide live imagery to command teams on the ground”.
Mandy Stone, who lives in Gascony Avenue, said: “They really should have a proper thing set up in a community centre by now. There are a lot of families out on the street. It’s cold. Kilburn High Road is not the safest place at the best of times.”
Cafe staff on the high road let stranded residents use toilets and some were providing hot drinks for free.