A man armed with an axe is on the run after storming a high street store and threatening builders in Newcastle. Police have cordoned off a section of Gosforth High Street after the man entered a cafe armed with an axe. He threatened some builders working on the property before fleeing the scene.

Officers have descended on the busy shopping street — with traffic badly affected. The man is still on the loose as police launch an urgent manhunt. Locals have reacted with shock on Twitter as the news spreads. One person wrote: “So there seems to be an armed bloke running around Gosforth after entering a shop with an axe.”

Some shoppers have been forced to stay inside as police continue to scour the high street. Police have said they believe those involved in the incident are known to each other and have asked the public to contact them immediately if they see the man concerned.