Armed police in Watford have arrested a man who threatened bank staff with a bomb strapped to his body.

The Co-operative bank in Market Street, Watford, was surrounded by military and armed police.

The black-haired suspect was forced to his knees before being arrested by armed police.

A police spokeswoman told the Guardian: “An explosive device of some kind – as yet we don’t know what this is – has been removed from this individual.”

In a statement, Hertfordshire police said: “Safety of members of the public was paramount and a cordon was put in place and people were evacuated from nearby premises.

“There will be police activity in the town centre for a while to come. Understandably this caused concern within the community and we would like to thank members of the public for their co-operation in this matter.”

The suspect is not believed to be linked to terrorism.