School on lockdown as armed police hunt for man with weapon

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A school has reportedly been placed on lockdown by armed police while officers hunt a "man with a weapon.

Officers from Sussex Police along with the NPAS helicopter are responding to a report of a man see with a weapon in the vicinity of Litten Gardens at 2pm.

In a statement shared on its Facebook page at 3.15pm, Chichester High School deputy headteacher Tom Brixey wrote: "Dear Parents/Carers.

"We have been advised by the Police that due to an incident in Chichester this afternoon the school needs to be placed into lockdown.

"This means that students are not allowed to leave the site. All children are safe in their classrooms and the school site is safe. Parents should stay off the school site and avoid ringing the school.

"When we have any update we will notify again via ParentMail and ClassCharts.

"Can I re-iterate, please DO NOT ring the school, we need the phone lines free."

An update shared at 3.53pm added: "We have now let students leave the school site. This follows confirmation from Sussex Police that it is safe for children to travel home. The Police advice is that students go straight home.

"Please do not ring the school so that our phone lines can remain clear.

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"This was not an incident linked to Chichester High School but the wider Chichester area.

"Thank you for your support. As we know more we will update you as appropriate."

Social media users say another school in the area has also been put on lockdown.

One mum tweeted: "Portfield Primary School students not allowed out of school due to an incident and armed police by hospital apparently.

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"And high school now too, parents been told to come in so they can lock doors. One person saying man with shot gun and another saying knife. Armed police swarming Chichester."

A Sussex Police spokesman said: "We are responding to a report of a man seen with a suspected weapon in the vicinity of Litten Gardens, Chichester at 2pm on Friday (May 28).

"Enquiries to locate the suspect are underway – please avoid the area.

"We're working with partners including local schools to take safety precautions while we investigate this report.

"Thank you to the public for their patience and understanding while we carry out this work."

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