ARMED police swooped on a house in York after a man was attacked with an axe.

The casualty was being treated in hospital for a serious arm injury yesterday after he was reported to have been attacked at Osbaldwick travellers’ site, North Yorkshire Police said.

Following the incident, armed officers and a force dog unit were sent to a house in Farndale Avenue in Osbaldwick, where officers searched vans outside for a weapon.

Three men, aged 36, 53 and 62, were arrested and last night remained in custody for questioning.

The attack came only hours after a public meeting was held to discuss crime and antisocial behaviour at the site.

A police spokesman said the man suffered serious injury to his arm in the incident and underwent hospital treatment.

“His injuries are not believed to be life threatening,” he said.

“Officers believe this was a dispute between people who are known to each other and there is no threat to the local community.”

Police were alerted after receiving an emergency call from the site at about 10.05am.

They sent an armed response unit after being told an axe was involved.

Armed police were seen searching three vans outside the property in Farndale Avenue, but a spokesman said no weapon was found.

Osbaldwick councillor Mark Warters, who has protested against the proposed expansion of the site, said: “This is the third violent incident in the area in less than a year, coming after an attack with a machete and a shotgun. The council has lost control of this site and it should not be expanded but shut down.”

However, responding to concerns about behaviour in the area, Coun Tracey Simpson-Laing, cabinet member for housing, said that in the past year, there had been a reduction in every form of crime and antisocial behaviour in Osbaldwick and Murton parishes, suggesting things had got better, not worse.

Christine Shepherd, of the York Travellers Trust, said there was currently no concrete evidence to link the incident to travellers. She said: “We have to be careful to not automatically link travellers with any act of criminal behaviour.”

Anyone with any information about the incident is urged to contact North Yorkshire Police on 101 – select option 2 – and ask for York CID, or phone Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.