VIDEO: Dramatic footage of armed police swooping on teenagers in Plymouth city centre
THESE dramatic pictures show the moment a group of teens were held to the floor by armed police officers.
The incident by the Big Screen in Plymouth Piazza was filmed on a mobile phone by cameraman Patrick Bishop on January 10. It followed an alert near the Noah's Ark pub in Courtney Street.
At the time The Herald reported how police had received reports of a group of youngsters shooting at a nearby property with a handgun just before 8pm. The weapon was later found to be a BB gun.
The youths were quickly tracked by armed officers who swooped on them, pinning them to the ground as other officers cuffed them.
Patrick, 45, a creative designer at Plymouth-based firm PBPro.tv, captured the incident on his mobile phone. He said: "I was walking home and was in the right place at the right time. A police car came to a screaming stop, two officers got out armed with guns and I just reached for my mobile phone.
"By the time I'd got it ready they had the kids on the floor."
Patrick, whose firm specialises in commercial video production, said: "I know they have to take firearm reports seriously, but it was still a shock because it's not normally something you see in the centre of Plymouth."
As a professional cameraman Patrick said his response was automatic. He said: "I just reached for my mobile because I'm used to filming – it was an instant reaction.
"The police knew I was filming them."
Patrick said the youngsters appeared very shocked at the police reaction. He said: "The girls were crying 'what's happening, what have we done? we haven't done anything'
"I think they were taken by surprise."
Patrick later edited the footage and put it online.
Following the incident, police issued a warning that anyone carrying weapons in the city – fake replica or real – would face heavily armed officers.
The three girls were later returned home and of the two 17-year-old men arrested on suspicion of a public order offence, one was dealt with by restorative justice while no action was taken against the other.