Six-day live blog manned by journalists during armed stand-off in Coventry

Armed police in Coventry

When journalist in Coventry began receiving reports of an armed stand-off last Sunday, little did they expect to reporting on it live almost a week later.

It was only on Friday morning that armed police stormed a house in Earlsden, after a week of negotiating with a man inside the property.

The story began on Sunday when reports began coming in of between 10 and 20 armed police in the residential street, with a number of roads in the area around being cordoned off.

Police later confirmed the man in the house was ‘armed with weapons.’

Police said they initially gone to the area in the early hour to “conduct a safe and well check on a man and a child.” It soon became clear events were going to impact a whole community.

As well as providing live updates from the scene, CoventryLive journalists also shared details of latest road closures and schools forced to shut, and how the community was rallying around to help those either unable to get home, or stuck behind the cordon.

During the week, reporters also told of the stress for residents as the standoff continued, of the impact on local businesses and kept readers up to date with latest announcements from the police.

At the heart of coverge was a rolling live blog with the latest updates, which ran for all six days of the siege.

Editor Adam Moss said: “We first heard that there was some kind of police incident ongoing in Earlsdon at Sunday lunchtime.

“We then contacted the police who told us they had been called to a house in the early hours of the morning to do a welfare check on a child and the man inside was refusing to co-operate.

We started a live blog and sent a reporter out to the scene, who arrived just as Earlsdon Avenue North was being taped off and the armed police began to arrive.

“People who live in the area saw our coverage and began contacting us with pictures and video from inside the cordon. Within the space of about three hours the number of armed police on the scene increased from one to about 20.”

As the standoff continued, CoventryLive drew on support from around publisher Reach, including the company’s ‘Nightowl’ team, set up three years ago to ensure breaking news could be covered late into the night across the UK.

Adam added: “The weekend team, Ben Eccleston and Morgan Johnson, then handed the blog over to Nightowl as we got into the evening and felt the incident would be over by the following morning when they were back on shift.

“However, the early team on Monday quickly realised the incident was still ongoing and started a fresh blog the following morning. We had a reporter and photographer to the cordon every day.

“Head of Content Rob Rowlands and his team have made sure we covered every aspect of the siege, including the impact on businesses and residents who have been caught up in it, the help that’s been made available to them, regular updates from police, the impact on the primary school, videos and images residents have sent us from inside the cordon, the continuing travel impact, and interviews with residents.”

The story was also the front page of the Coventry Telegraph three days out of six this week.

  • In 2022, Behind Local News aims to celebrate local journalism in all its forms through our 365 Acts of Local Journalism Project. Lets us know what you think should be included. You can email us here or contact us via Twitter on BehindLocalNews or on Facebook here

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