TERRIFIED Boxing Day shoppers fled London’s Westfield shopping centre as police arrested a male suspect armed with a knife.
But police say bargain hunters scrambled for Westfield's exits when the noise of a first-floor counter top being smashed sent shoppers into a panic while the suspect was arrested. Officers swooped to detain the armed man at the east London centre around 4.30pm just as one of the precinct's food-court counters was broken. Shoppers can be seen running from the scene after the “loud noise” spooked them and confusion reigned.
A Police spokesman said: “At 16:20hrs on Wednesday, 26 December, officers patrolling Westfield Shopping Centre, E20 stopped a male after he was suspected to be in possession of a concealed weapon on the ground floor.
“He was stopped by police and searched and a knife was found. He was subsequently arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon.
“There are no reports of any injuries. The male arrested has been taken to an east London police station for questioning.
“Separate to this, at roughly the same time, it is believed to a counter top in the food court area on the first floor was broken.
“This loud noise led to some people in crowds nearby leaving the area.
“More police units attended to support Westfield security following this and no further offences were found.