A police inspector has praised the staff of a Northfield bank for their calm and measured actions during an incident where a 60 year old local man held a female member of staff hostage at gunpoint. 

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Police were called just before 11.45am to reports that a man was holding a female member of staff of the Bristol Road South Natwest branch hostage in an interview room.

No-one was injured and no threats or demands for money were made but the man produced a firearm from a bag.

Northfield high street was closed off by West Midlands Police and armed officers contained the area around the bank.

The man, a customer at the branch, left the bank and surrendered himself to police at around 12.50pm.

He has been taken to hospital for an assessment but is expected to later be questioned on suspicion of firearms offences.

West Midlands Police Force Incident Manager, Chief Inspector Shaun Phillips, said: “Officers quickly surrounded the bank, set-up a street cordon and established phone contact with some staff members who were hiding in a back room.

“It’s understood the man was with one female staff member, while other staff were lying low in another back room. No customers were caught up in the incident and no-one was hurt.

Although the motive for the incident is not yet clear, CI Phillips stressed that at this point it did not appear that it was a robbery attempt.

“Staff did exactly the right thing in remaining calm and I’d like to praise their actions in what was undoubtedly a scary situation. Thankfully we managed to … bring it to an end very quickly.”

Well done to all the staff at Natwest Northfield and we hope they get any support they need after their ordeal.

A massive thank you to West Midlands Police for their safe, swift and professional handling of the incident. 


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