ARMED police stormed a busy street and evacuated a cafe after receiving reports of a man with a knife.

The officers were seen in Hamlet Court Road, Westcliff at about 12.45pm yesterday. 


Scene - officers gathered outside the Rumbling Tum cafe yesterday 

Customers at The Rumbling Tum cafe were ordered to leave the business while officers searched the area.

Two men were arrested during the raid, which residents have described as “like something out of a film”.

Cafe-goer Terry Jones said: “It started off with about two armed officers and they came into the cafe and told us all to leave.

“I was a bit worrying as they had guns they were pointing at the building.

“I wasn’t scared - it was more exciting really.”

The 55-year-old from Westcliff added: “We were outside the cafe for about 40 minutes and people went back in and just carried on.

“It was defiantly interesting to see.”

Another customer said: “Around the back of the row of shops was another police car, so three marked police cars, one unmarked.

“I could see the officers were standing talking a man in the street. “Let’s hope whatever was happening, has been solved.

“One of the police officers had a blank crash helmet on, I’ve only seen those on police TV dramas.”

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “We were called shortly before 12.45pm on Monday 11 March with reports a man was seen with a knife at an address in Hamlet Court Road, Westcliff.

“We attended and spoke to the parties involved. No knives were found.

“A 20-year-old man from Glasgow was found to be wanted in connection with an investigation by Northumbria Police and was transferred to their custody.

“A 31-year-old man from South Ockendon was found to be wanted in connection with an investigation by West Midlands Police and was transferred to their custody.”

The 31-year-old man from South Ockendon was arrested on suspicion of making threats to kill in relation to a West Midlands Police investigation, has been released pending further investigation, the force confirmed.