Twin girls released by dad in armed siege
A two-year-old girl and her twin sister have been released after being held by their father in an armed siege at a flat, police have said. The 38-year-old man, who is believed to be in possession of a firearm, remains inside the property in Morton Avenue, Kidlington, Oxfordshire, which is surrounded by armed officers, Thames Valley Police said. Police were called at about 3.40am this morning by the man's estranged partner, who managed to flee the property. One of the girls was released at about 9.45am and the second child left the address shortly after 11.30am, police said. A police spokesman said: "Thames Valley Police can confirm a second child has been released unharmed from the property in Morton Avenue, Kidlington, as part of the ongoing domestic-related incident which the force is currently dealing with." Up to six officers in full protective gear entered the property to secure the release of the second girl before she was carried out by four officers, the Oxford Mail reported. Police area commander Superintendent Chris Bunt said they were dealing with a "domestic firearms incident" but there was no indication that the man had wished to harm the children. "I'd like to provide reassurance to the public that we have this fully in hand," he said. "We have the area contained and we have firearms officers that are deployed and are currently dealing with this incident. "Our aim is to resolve this incident as quickly and as safely as we possibly can." Police said they were in "regular communication" with the man, who is estranged from the girls' mother and does not live at the address. Armed officers remain deployed at the scene and a cordon has been placed around the property. It has been reported that up to 50 officers are dealing with the incident. Mr Bunt told the Oxford Mail that police were contacted by a woman, believed to be the man's estranged partner, who managed to flee the address in the early hours of this morning. "At approximately 3.40am this morning, we received a call from a female that had managed to flee from the address, reporting that her estranged partner was still currently in the address with two young two-year-old girls," he said. "We've been in discussions with the male at the address over the last few hours with a view to bringing a resolution to the incident as quickly as possible and securing the safe release of the girls and for him to hand himself in to police." Residents have been urged to avoid the area after Morton Avenue and nearby routes were closed to allow police operations to take place. A statement from Kidlington Neighbourhood Policing Team said: ''This is a contained incident and neighbourhood officers will be carrying out patrols speaking to residents. We strongly advise you to avoid the roads in and around Morton Avenue as there will not be any access.'' Thames Valley Police said this afternoon it was extending the cordon around the property by 100 yards in all directions. Mr Bunt said: "This measure is precautionary and proportionate to the information we have at this time. "I am conscious of the impact that this incident is having on local residents and I would ask them to remain patient with us until this matter is resolved. "The local neighbourhood policing team is carrying out patrols in the area and people should approach them and discuss any concerns they might have."