A 31-year-old man has been arrested following reports that a man with a gun had entered a hotel on Ormeau Avenue, Belfast.

Police received a report just before 6.45pm today, Sunday, 7th May, that a man had entered the hotel with what was believed to be a gun and threatened the staff and guests present.

Chief Inspector Prendergast said: “Response officers were on the scene within five minutes. On arrival, the suspect was holding a man hostage. All other persons were evacuated.

“Specially trained officers arrived shortly afterwards and the hostage was released just after 7.00pm.

“The suspect attempted to make off from the scene, but was detained by police. It was confirmed that the item was not a firearm.”

“He was arrested on a number of offences and has been taken to police custody, where he remains at this time.

“I want to thank the staff and patrons present for their cooperation during what was a terrifying ordeal. Thankfully, no-one is believed to have been physically harmed. Officers remain at the scene.

“I would appeal to anyone who was in the area who may have footage of the incident, or any other information which could assist our investigation, to contact police on 101, quoting reference number 1612 of 07/05/23.”