Man Arrested After 13-Hour Rooftop Drama

A man's been arrested after going missing following a 13-hour rooftop drama in Southampton.

Police were called to Gainsford Road in Bitterne at around 11.20am on Tuesday July the 9th.

On arrival officers found a 39-year-old man had climbed onto the roof of the house. Negotiators and other specialist officers were deployed to try to persuade the man to come down.

Throughout the course of the day a cordon was put in place and movements into and out of Gainsford Road were restricted in order to keep the area as safe and secure as possible.

Police say the man was offered water and medical treatment throughout the day as there were serious concerns that he would become dehydrated or suffer heatstroke.

At 8.30pm, police tell us they made a decision to start withdrawing some officers as it was felt that the overt, high level police and emergency service presence was not helping the efforts to get the man to come down.

This staggered reduction of officers from the scene continued over the next few hours while negotiators continued to try to talk to the man.

From around 12.30am the permanent police presence was withdrawn from the location. Police continued to actively review the incident and carry out checks on the address overnight. 

At 2am police discovered that the man had come down from the roof and could not be found.

Superintendent Ben Snuggs said:

"The decision to withdraw officers was made on the basis of the information available at the time.

"This was undertaken by considering a range of factors which included the man's safety, the safety of those surrounding him, the likelihood of securing him safely and the ongoing impact on the local community. 

"There were various stages of response that were proportionate to the danger to those involved in the situation.

"Police maintained an active review of the situation throughout the night and ensured that other people involved in the incident who originally called for police were kept safe and updated.

"We understand there are questions around the way this incident was handled. As with all incidents of this nature and scale, we will review how it was dealt with, look at our operational practice and explore whether or not there is anything we could have
done differently.

"I would like to thank the public for their help and patience during yesterday's incident and reassure them that at no stage did we believe this man posed a risk to the wider public."