ARMED police descended on a suburban York street yesterday lunchtime amid reports that a man was threatening people with an axe.

North Yorkshire officers had to close Osbaldwick Lane to the public at 1.30pm as they moved in to break up a fight involving five men.

A spokesman confirmed that the member of the public who phoned them to report the incident told them they had seen an axe.

Both armed and regular units combined to tackle the disturbance. Officers in body armour and wearing holsters could be seen in Osbaldwick Lane, and at least two police cars and one van were parked up as officers moved in.

A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said no weapons were recovered by officers attending the incident, but three men were arrested at the scene.

One of the three, a man aged 27, was arrested on suspicion of possession of a Class A drug. The other two men, aged 38 and 26, were arrested on suspicion of affray. All three of them were taken into custody.

One local resident contacted The Press to say they understood a man had been seen with a knife in the area, leading to the police presence.

Two local businesses said they had been given no information about the incident from police, but reported quieter lunch hours than usual, before the road was reopened after 2pm.

The North Yorkshire Police spokesman said nobody was seriously injured in the incident.