Father arrested after twin girls 'armed siege'

Up to 50 police officers have been involved in the operation

A man has been arrested after an armed siege in which his twin two-year-old daughters were held in a flat.

Police said the girls' mother called officers to the flat in Kidlington, Oxfordshire, at about 03:30 BST having escaped from the property herself.

The girls were released unharmed a few hours before the 38-year-old man was Tasered by police and arrested.

The area around the flat in Morton Avenue was cordoned off to "maintain the safety of the public", police said.

'Estranged' father

Thames Valley Police said the man, who was believed to be in possession of a firearm, had not asked for anything in return for the girls' release and had made no threat to them.

At the scene

The siege has rather shaken this neighbourhood.

Residents are relieved the girls have been released but are understandably still shocked by the amount of police activity here.

Parents and children on the school run have been curious about what's been going on too, with many walking up to the police tape for a closer look.

Locals say it is usually a quiet place to live.

It's a community where people know each other and many know the girls and the man involved.

Police said he had been in regular communication with armed officers outside the building and one of the girls was released at about 09:45.

The second girl was released shortly after 11:30.

The man is believed to be estranged from the girls' mother and does not live at the address.

Oxfordshire County Council said a children's social care worker attended the scene to assess the children when they were released and said the girls were being cared for by family members.

Les Holstead, a resident of Morton Avenue, said: "We were told to stay indoors for our own safety as it was an armed incident.

"It's normally a quiet, peaceful area."

Up to 50 police officers have been involved in the operation and a cordon around the property was extended by 100 yards (90m).

A section of Moreton Avenue remained closed into the afternoon. Other roads affected include Yarnton Road and Moreton Close.

A statement from Kidlington Neighbourhood Policing Team said: "We strongly advise you to avoid the roads in and around Morton Avenue as there will not be any access."

The county council said its emergency planning team had arranged for a reception centre at Exeter Hall in the town to be opened for affected residents in need of accommodation while the cordon was in place.

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