ARMED officers were called to an address in Blackwood this afternoon after reports that two people had been threatened with a knife, Gwent Police said.

A siege reportedly took place, with residents Keith and Glenys Smallman saying they were "frightened" after seeing more than a dozen officers running up their street with guns and riot gear.

A 32-year-old Blackwood man has been arrested on suspicion of affray and is currently in police custody.

Officers were called to the address on Highbury Drive at 2.40pm and the siege was said to have finished around 4pm.

No injuries were sustained.

Mr Smallman added that he and his wife had witnessed the police operation after having only just returned home.

“I saw two police cars on Ladysmith Road at the bottom and the officers were looking up at the house (Highbury House)," he said.

“In a few minutes, I don’t know where they came from, there were police blocking the whole road.”

He said that the officers emerging from the cars were “not the ordinary sort” but armed officers, brandishing guns, riot shields and wearing helmets. He also notedthat one of the officers was carrying a battering ram.

“We didn’t know what was going on,” he said.

 “I went out to ask what was happening and they told me to stay indoors until it was over.

“We’d seen the staff being evacuated down the hill, but you thought they’d have told us too.”

He continued by saying that he saw a young man being escorted down the hill in handcuffs with his hands behind his back.

Ms Smallman said that the experience had been frightening.

“We were just left here,” she said.

“The girl next door has two young children.

"We shouldn’t have to put up with this. Staff from the house were very uncooperative.”

Ms Smallman described how she and her husband had been fighting for Highbury House to have been sited elsewhere.

“There is a school and a park right next to it,” she said.

Mr Smallman said that the couple have tried to maintain a positive relationship with staff and residents at Highbury House.

“We didn’t want to seem like NIMBYs,” he said.

“We take them Christmas cards and things like that.”


Local councillor Kevin Etheridge said he was "disappointed" by the police's lack of communication after going to the scene following a concerned call from a resident.

"If my residents ring me I want to know that they are safe," he said.

He was told he could not visit Mr Smallman and was prevented from going past the police tape.

"I just find it unacceptable.

"I was looking for some communication, to just see if they are safe."