A man from Harpenden has been charged with a number of offences, including criminal damage and assault by beating, following an incident in the town.

Yesterday (Wednesday, March 22), a man barricaded himself into a property on Pickford Hill.

A large emergency services presence was seen on Pickford Hill from around 6.45am, after an altercation between two people had been reported.

Armed police, a fire engine and ambulance crews attended the scene, and drones were also spotted overhead.

Police negotiators were also deployed.

A number of local residents were evacuated from their homes and into the nearby Sauncey Wood School, which had taken the decision to close early.


At around 2.34pm, a man was escorted from the scene and into a police van.

Paul Lee, 45, has now been charged with affray intentionally/recklessly causing a public nuisance, common assault, assault by beating and three counts of criminal damage.

This morning (Thursday, March 23), he appeared at Hatfield Magistrates' Court, where he was remanded into custody until his next court appearance - at St Albans Crown Court, on April 24.

Herts Advertiser: A heavy emergency services presence was seen at the location.A heavy emergency services presence was seen at the location. (Image: Pearce Bates, Newsquest)

Detective Sergeant Mark Chipchase said: “Thankfully no one was seriously injured during this incident.

"We worked as quickly as we could in order to make sure that the incident was dealt with swiftly and was as contained as possible, prioritising public safety – including that of local residents and all emergency service personnel responding to this incident.


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Herts Advertiser: A number of armed police were seen at the location.A number of armed police were seen at the location. (Image: Pearce Bates, Newsquest)

“I would like to thank the public for their patience while officers worked to bring it to a safe conclusion – especially the residents who were temporarily evacuated from surrounding properties as a safety precaution.

"Their co-operation and understanding was greatly appreciated.”