Dubbo Centrelink locked down after alleged threats

Source: Daily Liberal

Police blocked off a Dubbo Street and placed Dubbo Public School in lockdown after receiving a call about a man who was allegedly verbally threatening staff and telling them he had a gun at Dubbo Centrelink office on Friday morning. 

About 9.15am the man entered the Centrelink building on Wingewarra Street, and allegedly became involved in a verbal argument with staff. 

Police were called and the building was evacuated. Following negotiations the 28-year-old, who was unarmed, was arrested and taken to Dubbo Police Station where he assisted police with inquiries. 

NSW Police have released a statement and held a press conference following an incident at the Dubbo Centrelink office on Friday morning. 

A woman who stood just metres from the man responsible for the siege at Dubbo Centrelink yesterday said she never felt threatened by the man's behaviour.

The woman was on one of the Centrelink phones near the man when he began to get agitated. She said he threw the phone and approached a staff member.

She said he then went and made a barricade for himself out of chairs and signs.

Despite the man's behaviour, the witness said she was not aware of his claim that he had a gun and said the man actually attempted to convey that he didn't have a weapon.

"He went off because he wanted an urgent payment and they wouldn't give it to him. He wanted money for his blood pressure medication. He was on the phones there and they kept asking and asking what he wanted the money for. He threw the phone, got up and stormed over to one of the blokes who walks around and started swearing at him.

"He then went and created a barricade for himself, he was leaving everybody alone.

"He said 'I can prove I haven't got a gun. I will empty my backpack but then I would have to effing pick it up'. He went and put chairs up and signs and kept going on about wanting an emergency payment."

PHOTOS: The Dubbo Centrelink incident as it happened

The woman said she has seen worse behaviour from people on other visits and never felt she was in danger.

"He left everyone there alone to do their business and didn't go near them. I was on the phone not far from him. They told me to leave but I told them I wasn't going until I had finished talking to the person on the phone," she said.

"The only people he said he was going to punch was the staff.

"The cops turned up and said we had to get out and by then I had finished my business so I left."

Again, the witness said the man made no attempt to stop them leaving.

"Everyone trotted out, he didn't try to stop anyone. As I left the police were coming around the corner. They wouldn't let them in until everyone else was out," she said.

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