Bustling Napier streets were in lockdown last night while a man was reported to be roaming the area with a gun.

Just after 8pm armed police began blocking access along Georges Drive between Latham St and State Highway 2, and toward Thackeray St.

The armed offenders squad arrived on the scene at about 8.30pm and began spreading along Georges Drive and the nearby reserve.

They approached a home on Georges Drive near Thistle St where a man was standing on the front porch. Police told him to exit the property, and he approached police with his hands on his head.

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He was taken to a nearby address where he was restrained.

Police then entered the home. Shortly after a woman and two children were escorted from the address.

Last night Senior Sergeant Nick Dobson said police had a person in custody.

The man hadn't yet been charged but Mr Dobson said he was facing charges.

Despite being told by police to remain in their homes, residents lined nearby streets and watched the action unfold.

Motorists and passers-by also stopped and watched from Kennedy Rd and Douglas McLean Drive.

Residents spoken to by Hawke's Bay Today said they believed police were searching for a man with a gun.

A resident who was at the scene had heard it was either a rifle or an air rifle.

One resident became visibly upset when she realised she knew the family who lived at the house.

She said they were very nice people. Mr Dobson said investigations were ongoing.