A tense 11-hour siege at a house in Fife ended in dramatic fashion when armed police broke through the front door and arrested two men.
The drama started after armed response officers swooped on the property in Kirktoun Street, Ballingry, in the early hours of Tuesday after reports of a disturbance.
A fire crew from nearby Lochgelly was also alerted shortly after 4.30am following reports of a fire within the property.
The street was sealed off and residents ordered to stay indoors as armed officers took up positions behind police vehicles adjacent to the house while a wider cordon was established around neighbouring streets.
A witness reported seeing a woman being led away shortly afterwards. Other people had secured themselves inside.
Resident Bill Kirk, who lives nearby, said he noticed a police presence in the street when leaving for work shortly before 3am but thought little more about it.
He said: “It was a complete shock when I returned home at 10.30am to pick up medication and find the street in lock-down with armed police everywhere – I was given a police escort into my home. It’s not the sort of thing you expect right outside your door.”
Another resident, who only moved to the street a week ago, said: “Armed officers had to lead me out of my home at 7am to get to work, it was very scary.”
By 11.30am, trained police negotiators were brought in to try to end the stalemate, with officers heard shouting across the street trying to persuade the men to give up.
Hopes were raised when, in response to the negotiator’s pleas, one of the men was seen opening a downstairs window for a brief time.
As the tense stand-off continued, there was a sudden flurry of activity as other emergency vehicles and a police dog unit were brought close to the scene.
Shortly after at 1.30pm a group of six armed officers, one with a battering ram and another with a shield, moved swiftly from the pavement to the front door before smashing a side window and forcing entry inside.
Just moments later, amid shouts clearly heard coming from within the house, the first of two men was led away by two firearms officers. Three minutes later, a second handcuffed male was brought out and escorted into a police van parked in a side street.
A spokesman for Police Scotland confirmed two men, aged 31 and 37, and a woman aged 39, had been arrested in connection with a disturbance in Ballingry.