Woman in stand-off with bomb squad

A tense eight-hour stand-off between a 40-year-old woman and armed police backed up by an army bomb disposal unit at a seaside town ended with her being arrested under the Mental Health Act last night.

Police cordoned off a beach in Saltburn-by-the-Sea, near Redcar in north-east England, after reports that the woman was carrying "suspicious items", which led to "concerns for her welfare".

Negotiators spoke to her for several hours after being called at 11am. Bomb disposal experts are thought to have used robots to investigate her bag.

Superintendent Ciaron Irvine of Cleveland Police said the woman was arrested at 7.30pm, bringing the matter to a "safe conclusion", and thanked residents for their "patience and co-operation".