Following a “hunch” from police in Merton, nine arrests have been made on suspicion of kidnap and possession of a firearm.

Merton Police shared on Facebook that one of its patrols noticed a car they were suspicious of driving around the area, triggering the launch of an area search.

The arrests took place in Hounslow.

At around 6pm on Thursday, July 13, police attempted to stop a car in Hounslow.

The car did not stop and the occupants were later seen entering a residential property in Swift Road, Feltham.

As a result of information suggesting the group may possess a firearm, armed police were called to the scene.

At around 9pm, the group were detained by officers.

In total, nine men were arrested on suspicion of kidnap and possession of a firearm.

No injuries were reported.

Four men were charged with kidnap and appeared in custody at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court.

They have been released on conditional bail ahead of a crown court appearance for which the date and venue are yet to be confirmed.

Four other men have been bailed pending further enquiries to dates in October.

The other man was released with no further action.

Police enquiries are ongoing.