A man armed with a knife has taken several members of staff at a jobcentre in Newcastle hostage, Northumbria police have said.
Officers were called to Clifford Street in Byker at around 8am on Friday morning following reports of a disturbance at the centre.
Specialist negotiators are at the scene, and roads around the premises have been closed until further notice.
Police said they were dealing with an “ongoing situation” at the Jobcentre Plus after reports that a man who is known to staff at the centre had begun “causing a disturbance”.
Officers said they found a man wielding a knife had entered the centre. Some staff members had left the building but others are still being held there.
Roads around the jobcentre have been put on lockdown and nearby student halls have been evacuated.
The local Byker metro station has also been closed and no trains are passing through “as a precaution”.
This police described the incident as isolated and it is not thought to be terror-related. No one has been hurt.
Photos from the scene show the road taped off and several police cars and uniformed officers.
A Northumbria police spokesperson said: “Officers have attended and found a man armed with a knife had entered premises and it is believed that several members of staff are being held there. Several other staff members have left.
“We are currently dealing with the incident but there are no reports of any injuries at this time.”