Chaos as armed father shuts M4

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A stand-off between police and an armed man holding his two-year-old son hostage in a camper van brought chaos to road travellers yesterday.

A stand-off between police and an armed man holding his two-year-old son hostage in a camper van brought chaos to road travellers yesterday.

A 17-mile stretch of the M4 was shut off in the early hours of the morning and remained closed through the day while police negotiated. They said last night that they were prepared to sit it out "for as long as it takes until its successful conclusion" to ensure the child's safety.

A Wiltshire police spokesman said: "Situations such as this cannot be rushed and we expect the M4 to be closed for some time. Police officers at the location are maintaining a dialogue with the man in the camper van and will continue to do so until a peaceful resolution is achieved." The drama began at 7.30pm on Friday night at the Seaview caravan park in Sennen, near Land's End, Cornwall, when the man waved a gun at police who had gone to interview him over a custody dispute.

This led to a 250-mile chase along the M5 and M4 motorways, with police cars following at a safe distance. The man's camper van ran out of petrol three miles west of junction 16 of the M4 near.

The man was believed to be heading to London but his attempt to refuel at a service station was foiled by police who blocked the entrance.

The incident caused chaos in Wiltshire, with 10-mile tailbacks on the M4 while diversionary routes became blocked. The AA said about 12,000 cars were jammed.

Comments