By News Reporters
Fitzrovia’s streets were back to normal on Saturday with little evidence remaining of Friday’s siege of Shropshire House on Tottenham Court Road. Only a broken window on the fifth floor of the building gave a hint to the events of Friday lunchtime. Any debris from the computer and office equipment which had been thrown from the building had either been taken by the police forensic officers or washed away with the heavy rain that has continued to fall.
But we now know that the Metropolitan Police have charged and held a man called Michael Green, 48, from Stevenage, Hertfordshire with various offences including false imprisonment and making a bomb hoax.
One report suggested that the man had a grievance with one of the companies in the building which offered HGV training. The man had apparently not been successful in gaining his HGV licence and had come to the offices to vent his anger.
Update: 30/04/2012 The campaign group Hope Not Hate last night said:
We have received information that leads us to believe that the man charged over the Tottenham Court Road siege on Friday previously stood as a BNP parliamentary candidate.
Today a Stevenage newspaper, The Comet, has published a story saying that the man arrested by police was a “BNP candidate for the town at the last general election”. Fitzrovia News spoke to a reporter from The Comet who said they had interviewed Michael Green when he was a candidate in the 2010 election.
He will appear at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court today (Monday 30 April).
The skies only offered a heavy drizzle during the three hours during midday Friday as police cordoned off a large area surrounding the junction of Tottenham Court Road and Howland Street.
Police had apparently responded with every piece of equipment they had and were only out-gunned by the army and RAF who also turned up. Glocks, Tasers, stun grenades, spare ammunition, special forces, the Army’s bomb disposal unit, and the RAF’s nuclear, biological and chemical warfare equipment were all hurried to the scene according to one report.
Outside the cordon the international media laid siege to Fitzrovia’s narrow streets. Reporters ran for witnesses for any scrap of information that hadn’t already been broadcast on Twitter and zoomed in on images that they hoped might have not yet made it to Instagram, YouTube or anywhere else. The Huffington Post whose offices had to be evacuated had pretty much reported all that could be said.
Alice Darfeuille of France 24 could be seen wrapped up warmly and at one point almost chasing one eye-witness into Charlotte Street. Although the young man was quite happy to tell her what he saw, he was not happy to be filmed for French TV. He promptly walked off followed by Alice and her cameraman. She eventually persuaded a less camera-shy witness to come and talk to her. He no doubt just repeated what he’d read on Twitter and the Huffington Post.
By 3pm it was all over and nothing really happened other than a lot of social media speculative traffic and real traffic driving around in circles, lost in Fitzrovia’s maze of one way streets.
The Met Police reported via Twitter that they had arrested a man and that the situation was under control.
A large part of Tottenham Court Road remained closed for several hours while police examined the area for evidence.