Police were threatened by a gang at gunpoint -giving rise to fears the latest wave of gun crime could be spreading into the Richmond.

Concerned residents called officers to Boileau Road, Barnes, at around 11pm on Thursday, March 8, after a group of men were seen acting suspiciously.

The three men made off as soon as police arrived and were chased on foot to a nearby cul-de-sac, where one aimed a single-barrel sawn-off shotgun at officers and threatened them.

No shots were fired and when police withdrew the suspects made off in the direction of Kilmington Road.

Search teams were combing through a taped-off area surrounding Baynes House, a block of flats in Kilmington Road, the following day for vital clues as to the suspects' identities.

They are described only as wearing balaclavas or bandannas.

Nigel Magid, whose mum Eileen lives in the flats, said: "My mother has only just moved in here.

"She had the scare of her life - there was so much commotion."

One other resident, who did not want to be named, said: "At about 3am there were helicopters all over the place.

"There were some lads out here with a gun - they tried to break into someone's house down the road.

"Police were walking up and down all night and all the neighbours were out talking.

"It was mad - it's normally quiet around here, you just don't expect this sort of thing."

The two police officers were unharmed in the incident.

Police have said enquiries are ongoing and are now appealing for anyone with information to come forward and contact the incident room on 020 8217 7366. No arrests have been made.