A MAN has been charged with conspiracy to kidnap and four people arrested as part of a police operation, which saw armed officers descend on Freshwater.
Two men and two women were arrested after armed police raided an address in the High Street area on Monday, following an investigation led by the Hampshire Major Investigation Team and Serious Organised Crime Unit, and searched another property in the village.
They were taken into police custody and questioned about the suspected theft of a car, which was discovered alight near Fort Victoria, Yarmouth, several hours previously.
The two men, aged 29 and 25, and one woman, aged 21, were bailed until November 4, pending further enquiries.
The second woman, 26, was released with no further action.
The raid took place at around 9am and left parents on the school run shocked.
One mother of two, who wished to remain anonymous, said: "I was taking my children to school and there were all these police. My youngest kept saying 'look, look they have guns'. I just pulled him away and urged him to be quiet. It’s not what you want when you are doing the school run."
A police spokesperson said it was not uncommon to see armed police on the Isle of Wight as they were part of routine patrols.
A fifth person, Kieran Luke Mace, was arrested separately and appeared at the Isle of Wight Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, charged with conspiracy to kidnap.
Mr Mace, 26, of Sandown, was remanded in custody until October 11, when he is due to appear at the Isle of Wight Crown Court.
A police spokesman said there was no information to suggest a wider risk to the community.
Anyone with information can contact Isle of Wight CID, at Newport Police Station, by calling 101 and quoting Operation Part. Information can also be given anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.