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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 September 2018

Oxford gunman stand-off ends after 14 hours

The incident capped off a spate of violence in Britain over the Bank Holiday weekend

There has been a surge in stabbings and shootings across Britain in 2018. (EPA)
There has been a surge in stabbings and shootings across Britain in 2018. (EPA)

A tense stand-off between a gunman and armed police in Oxford, England, has ended “peacefully” after around 14 hours, police said.

Thames Valley Police said shots were fired by the suspect in Paradise Square in the centre of the historic University City, with officers returning fire.

Police were called to the scene at 1.15pm local time on Monday and streets were cordoned off after witnesses reported hearing gunfire.

Negotiations with the man went on into the early hours of Tuesday morning. At around 3am, the 24-year-old suspect, believed to be from Oxford, was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and taken into custody, police said.

South Central Ambulance Service added that one person is being treated for a non-life threatening injury. Roads in the area were reopened although police remain at the scene.

Police thanked members of the public and local businesses for their “understanding” as they worked to resolve the issue.

The stand-off capped off a spate of shootings and stabbings over the Bank Holiday weekend, with much of it taking place in the capital.

On Monday afternoon, a young man in his late teens was taken to hospital after being knifed in Stratford, East London.

At around 5pm, a shooting in New Cross, southeast London, left a 30-year-old man, believed to be a food delivery driver, injured.

Neither is believed to be facing life-threatening injuries, police said.

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Another man was stabbed in Chadwell Heath, East London, on Monday evening, while two boys, aged 13 and 15, were shot in the head in Harrow, north-west London, on Sunday in what police described as a “callous, reckless and brazen act”.

The 13-year-old, believed to have been an innocent bystander, was later discharged from hospital. The elder boy remains in hospital in a non life-threatening condition.

Another teenager, Rhyiem Barton, was shot dead in Southwark, south London, on Saturday. The 17-year-old’s mother, Pretana Morgan, described him as a “very handsome boy” and said: “I couldn't have asked for a better son.”

Violent crime has soared in the capital in 2018, leading Scotland Yard to deploy extra police officers on the streets. More than 60 people have been killed since January 1, 2018.

The surge in stabbings and shootings has attracted international attention, with US President Donald Trump saying on Friday that he had read about a UK hospital that sounded like a “war zone”.

“There’s blood all over the floors of this hospital,” Mr Trump told the National Rifle Association, although he did not identify his source or the name of the hospital.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he refused to accept that nothing can be done to stem the rise of violent crime across the country.

Speaking to the BBC on Tuesday, Mr Khan said: “There’s no culture that should accept or condone criminality and what we have to do is make sure we invest in young people.”

He added: “The famous lines ‘tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime’ were accurate.”

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