Twenty firearms were seized from a house at the centre of a village ‘stand off’, police have said.
Surrey Police carried out a pre-planned raid on a home in Careys Road, Smallfield, at 6am yesterday (Thursday July 28).
Officers said a person was seen in the property with a suspected firearm.
Armed officers and the police helicopter were called and police cordoned off the area.
East Surrey Superintendent Clive Davies, said: “At around 6am on Thursday, 28 July officers attended a property in Smallfield as part of a pre-planned drugs operation. On arrival a man was seen in possession of a suspected firearm which resulted in officers immediately withdrawing from the property to await armed back-up.
“Armed officers quickly arrived at the address but to safely manage the scene and the surrounding area a number of steps had to be taken to identify the risk. Negotiators attempted to make contact with anyone inside the property and although no-one engaged with them, this is not uncommon in incidents like this.
“It was established there were no hostages at the property and therefore no immediate threat to any other person meaning a safer approach to entering the property could be taken.
“A drone and dog unit were deployed from elsewhere in the county and travelled to the scene to carry out further searches of the property and surrounding areas, including outbuildings. The NPAS helicopter carried out further searches using heat monitors.
“Officers entered the property later that day and following a thorough search ascertained the man had left the house. At this stage it is not known exactly when this happened but it is believed this is likely to have occurred when officers withdrew from the property following the initial firearm threat.
“Around twenty firearms were subsequently located at the property which are currently undergoing forensic analysis.
“I appreciate the disruption this incident caused to the community and residents are thanked for their patience and understanding while the searches were carried out.
“The warrant was executed as part of a pre-planned job entitled Operation Aragon which resulted in 10 arrests across East Surrey for drugs related offences.”
Surrey Police are still tracing a man following the incident.
Officers said Paul Hodge, 57, is wanted on suspicion of drugs and firearms offences.
Superintendent Davies said: “We have no information to suggest Paul is of a threat to the wider community but urge anybody who has seen Paul or knows of his whereabouts not to approach him but to contact police immediately.”
If you have seen Paul Hodge or have any information in regards to his whereabouts please call 999, quoting, 45160065395.
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