Armed police swoop on Christchurch home

BLAIR ENSOR
Last updated 15:56 18/06/2014
Police at 69 Bickerton Street, Christchurch
John Kirk-Anderson

SEARCH: Specialist officers examined a car at Bickerton Street, Wainoni

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Armed police swooped on a Christchurch home this morning after reports of a woman screaming. 

Members of police's specialist search group were later called in to help search the home in Bickerton St, Wainoni. 

A dark car was searched and a police photographer was on the scene. 

The incident, reported about 7.30am, was domestic related, a police spokesman said. 

A resident in the street, who would not be named, said she heard yelling and screaming and got her daughter to call police. It was more than an hour before they arrived at the scene. 

By that time the woman had got away from the man, the resident said.

She was "disgusted" at how long police took to respond.

"It's unbelievable. She could have died," the resident said.

Inspector Derek Erasmus said police were called after a person heard yelling and screaming coming from the property at 7.28am. 

Armed police were dispatched within five minutes and the informant was told to call 111 immediately if the situation escalated, Erasmus said. 

While en route, police were told there could be guns at the property, he said. They waited nearby and the Armed Offenders Squad was sent in.

They secured the home in a "staged entry" at 9.55am to "ensure the safety of the public and police".

 A man and a woman were at the property, but they were not cooperating with police.

Staff had searched the property looking for guns, Erasmus said. ''We are still attempting to speak to witnesses to take the inquiry further.''

Police would have entered the home immediately if there was ''imminent'' risk to life even if there was ''a huge threat to others'', he said.

''If someone's life is in danger we have to do something immediately. We make a judgement call at the time.'

"Police's target response time for urgent incidents was nine minutes, Erasmus said.

''We make it most of the time.''

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