Armed police make arrests in dramatic swoop on Oswestry town centre

Armed police swooped making a number of arrests in an operation in the centre of Oswestry.

Police activity in Oswestry. Photo: Julian Bound
Police activity in Oswestry. Photo: Julian Bound

Shoppers were stopped in their tracks as police vehicles arrived in the pedestrianised part of the town at about 11am on Wednesday.

Onlookers say the men arrested had been in Barclays Bank at The Cross in the busy shopping area.

West Mercia police have not revealed why the arrests were made.

Instead the force reassured the community that it had been a planned police operation with no risk to the public.

The drama centred on The Cross in the busy shopping area of the town, where there are several shops, cafes and two High Street banks.

Wednesday is the busiest day of the week for the town centre with both the indoor and outdoor markets in full swing.

The Cross is at the junction of Cross Street, Bailey Street and Church Street and is usually crowded with shoppers on Wednesday mornings.

Market traders on stalls just a few yards from the police operation were among those who saw the activity.

Artist Shirley Davies, who runs the Pencil Art stall, said: “There were police with guns everywhere.”

Police activity in Oswestry. Photo: Julian Bound

Other shoppers spoke of their amazement as those arrested were forced to the ground.

“There was one with his head at my feet with police with their guns drawn,” one man said.

West Mercia Police issued a brief statement saying: "There was a planned police operation in the area with no wider risk to the public. A number of people have been arrested as part of the operation."

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