Man taken to hospital as Levin police standoff ends

Source: 1News

A man has been taken to hospital as a two day police standoff at a Levin home came to an end on Friday evening.

Police cordons in place at the scene in Levin.

The man was located inside the home after Fire and Emergency NZ extinguished a blaze there on Friday evening.

"He is currently being checked over by ambulance staff and will be transported to hospital for further treatment," police said in a statement.

"The man’s dog was also found alive and is being cared for.

"There is still work to be done at the property to ascertain whether there are any items in the house which pose an ongoing risk.

"Until that work has been completed, cordons will remain in place and members of the public should continue to avoid the area."

Background

Just after 11pm on Thursday police said there was a "self-harm" incident unfolding on Bledisloe St.

Around 80 residents were then evacuated from the area.

Manawatu Area Commander, Inspector Sarah Stewart, said the evacuation was done as a precaution.

"We know it can be upsetting to be asked to leave your home – especially when we’re not able to say much about the incident that’s prompted this," she in a statement on Thursday night.

"But public safety must always be our number one priority."

READ MORE: Dozens of Levin residents evacuate homes due to incident police attending

“A police negotiation team is in dialogue with a resident of Bledisloe Street. This specialist team are highly skilled and work hard to help resolve incidents without loss of life, injury, or damage to property.”

On Friday morning, police told 1News the incident is "ongoing".

And at a press conference on Friday afternoon, Stewart said "there are a number of matters we cannot go into today and questions we will not be able to answer".

"I'm sure you'll appreciate that this is an ongoing and evolving situation and we are focused on ensuring the safety of everyone involved.

"I understand that this is distressing for residents, however, resolving this safely for everybody is our number one priority and we thank those affected for their cooperation.

Stewart told the community to expect an increased police presence carrying out "reassurance patrols" in the area, and confirmed Bledisloe Street would remain cordoned off between Freyberg and Cobham St until the incident is resolved.

She said the city council are dealing with about 40 homes that they're providing support to.

Later on Friday, in a statement, Stewart said that police are "working with displaced residents and are assisting with pet welfare checks and with retrieving medication left inside the cordon".

Levin Mayor Bernie Wanden told 1News the incident began around 4pm on Thursday.

At Friday's press conference, he said that accommodation requirements have already been set up for some people tonight "and that will be assessed as the situation develops".

"Our concern is for our residents, their safety and their welfare and we want to continue to support them and give them any assistance they need."

A Horowhenua District Council spokesperson said residents were evacuated to the nearby Levin Community Centre (Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-pō).

"Please follow all police instructions and stay away from the area," the council spokesperson said.

Police said in a statement on Friday morning it is safe for students from Levin East School and Waiopehu College to attend school today.

Retail worker Arohanui Nicholson told 1News police gave her and her colleagues 15 minutes to pack up and evacuate their Levin store on Thursday.

She also said the shop is much quieter on Friday, with customers staying away after the incident.

"It has kind of affected business a bit so hopefully the post we put on Facebook will encourage our customers."

Another resident, Jason Larsen, who lives on Freyberg St, told 1News there was also a police presence in the area on Tuesday.

"We definitely don't usually have this level of police, we're just like any other neighbourhood."

He said in his seven years living in the neighbourhood he's seen anything like it.

"We know all our neighbours, everyone in the street and stuff so yeah, it's quite unexpected," Larsen said.

Stewart confirmed there was another police incident on the street earlier in the week but would not go into details, saying "it's all related".

Fire and Emergency New Zealand and ambulance staff are also supporting the police-led response.

Any Levin resident affected who have requests or concerns are asked to visit the Levin police station.