'Armed police' arrest three men and evacuate central London street in Blackfriars

All roads have now been reopened after the men were 'arrested on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle'

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The Independent Online

A stolen BMW with Belgian licence plates sparked a security alert in central London on Saturday. 

Three men were arrested after police, with helicopters, ambulances and a fire engine all attending, evacuated a busy London thoroughfare.

Blackfriars Road and St George’s Circus were closed to the public as officers cordoned off the area and appeared to be warning nearby residents to “stay away from the windows”.

A Metropolitan police spokesperson said closures were due to a vehicle being stopped at the junction between the two roads.

“The occupants of the vehicle - three men - were arrested on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle,” the spokesperson told The Independent. “They currently remain in custody at a south London police station.”

Pictures from the scene appeared to show the car, a silver BMW, had Belgian licence plates.

Following the arrests, traffic is now moving again along Waterloo Road, as St George's Circus and Blackfriars had have reopened.

It follows a week of heightened security after multiple terror attacks in Paris killed 130 people. A number of the perpetrators of the attack – which was claimed by Isis – have been identified as Belgian citizens.