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Bomb scare closes Brighton city centre - Live
This live event has finished
- Suspicious package outside Army Recruitment Office.
- Queens Road businesses evacuated.
- Bomb disposal unit on scene.
- Similar incidents in Slough and Oxford today.
- South East Counter Terrorist Unit investigating
Well, that was a lot of drama for a Thursday lunchtime.
Given the all clear we will finish the live blog now but make sure you pick up a copy of tomorrow's The Argus for extensive coverage of the bomb scare.
At last count suspicious packages had been discovered today in Queen's Street, Brighton, RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk, St Giles, Oxford, Queensmere Shopping Centre, Slough, Berkshire and St Peter’s Street, Canterbury, Kent.
On Wednesday a suspect package was delivered to an army recruitment offices in Hospital Hill, Aldershot, Hampshire,
On Tuesday similar packages were discovered in army recruitment offices in St Mary’s Butts, Reading, Berkshire, and The Dockyards, Chatham, Kent.
Chief Inspector Dave Padwick said: "When a suspect package is reported we have a routine response which means we may need to evacuate an area until we can be sure it poses no threat to the public.
"The contents of other similar packages received at Army Careers offices over the last few days are still being examined but it is clear that even if they do turn out to be viable devices they are extremely low level and unlikely to cause any significant harm or damage.
"I would like to thank the public for their patience while we deal with this incident. I know it must be frustrating for people trying to use the city centre.
"The roads and buildings will be opened as quickly as we can but our priority has to be making sure the area is safe."
So it looks as though the incident is over and the police have been stood down. Queens Road and associated areas are now open again.
Thank you for your patience, Queens Road and those surrounding now open! Incident dealt with #Brighton— @BTNCityPolice 13 February 2014
Good news coming from the police:
Queens Road to remain closed for the time being. Surrounding roads will be opening shortly #Brighton— @BTNCityPolice 13 February 2014
This was the scene in Chatham, Kent on Tuesday, where another explosive device, described as a "viable letter bomb" was discovered (Pic: Suzanne Williams)
It is reported Kent Police have confirmed the suspicious package discovered in Chatham was an explosive device.
And now there are reports of a vehcile stopped on way to RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk due to a suspicious package.
Sky News is reporting yesterday's suspicious package in Reading was a "small but viable" explosive device. We try to get confirmation on that line.
Officially the safest place in Brighton! #bombscare #brightonnews #brightonargus— @GlobeBrighton 13 February 2014
Stumbled into a bomb scare in Brighton today. Thought it was some sort of conceptual art installation at first #normalforBrighton— @joannemallon 13 February 2014
Lots of drama..#brighton http://t.co/oGraOKoqOd— @LucyPletts 13 February 2014
Travelling from a bomb scare in Canterbury to a bomb scare in brighton... This journey could be interesting— @callumboulter 13 February 2014
RT @BHPubHealthEP: Latest update at queens rd #Brighton. Bomb squad dealing #royalnavy @brightonargus @brightonews http://t.co/eDBBTZqcyc— @Brighton_RT 13 February 2014
@bhpubhealthep update from queens rd #royalnavybombsqad dealing press helicopter here http://t.co/YrvhVzKWnv— @KCPhotographyEU 13 February 2014
1:47pm Thu 13 Feb 14
I live in Reading - we had one at the army careers place on Tuesday. So did Chatham in Kent. Aldershot got one yesterday. I can't understand why there is no national media coverage of it?!?
The Seagulls Store in Queen's Road is closed today due to an unforeseen circumstance. Apologies for any inconvenience caused. #BHAFC— @OfficialBHAFC 13 February 2014
Bombs in Brighton? Mental. http://t.co/MxvUoNlFsY— @dangbarton 13 February 2014
First time shopping in Brighton in about a year and there are Bomb disposal squads and armed forces...brilliant— @ChadCroot 13 February 2014
Brighton bomb scare - right by our office.. people evacuated, not us yet though.— @PurposeGaming 13 February 2014
RN EOD in #Brighton today. http://t.co/4AFeAdRxxg— @AlecRWaters 13 February 2014
Reports of a helicopter on the scene but our reporter informs us it is from a TV station not a police or military aircraft.
Eek. Gary Almond is in the firing line so to speak.
@BrightonArgus (not quite) the money shot... http://t.co/beoQ9HTC3A— @galmond 13 February 2014
Hope it's not a large bomb in Brighton. I'm only across the road 😱 #BrightonBombThreat http://t.co/Z9PjRehm1e— @Murph_XF 13 February 2014
Proper Royal Navy Bomb Disposal van in action. #Brighton #bomb http://t.co/ZpzqAs60am— @haames 13 February 2014
Some more images from Anna Roberts at the scene:
@BrightonArgus getting tense... http://t.co/fLfkBhihBf— @galmond 13 February 2014
Unfortunately access to LA Fitness in #Brighton is not possible at this time. Weather is nice maybe a seafront run instead?— @BTNCityPolice 13 February 2014
#Bomb scare on Queen's Rd #Brighton, lots of police and fire crew at the scene @brightonargus http://t.co/VhJfVEMaQF— @emma_hob 13 February 2014
Nice to see in Brighton we rely on Wall-E to fix out bomb scares. http://t.co/i0WFkZzbKe— @jordannstweet 13 February 2014
@brightonews @brightonargus live update http://t.co/4J60xZbMXA— @BHPubHealthEP 13 February 2014
This from our reporter on the scene Anna Roberts:
"The Military Police are here now and you cna see the bomb disposal robot from the street.
Jamie Reid, 32 from Saltdean, was one of those evacuated.
He said: "I was amazed how quickly the police turned up and started evacuating people.
"They were here for about ten minutes and the all of a sudden they told everyone to get out straight away.
"There were loads of police cars and fire engines. It was obvious they were taking it very seriously."
RT @BAFIC: Bomb Scare in #brighton #arty #photo http://t.co/o3VxbIxTiu— @Brighton_RT 13 February 2014
i'm enjoying this bomb scare. we've not done any work in the office since the news broke, just swapping bomb stories and checking t'argus— @caracourage 13 February 2014
@brightonargus what the rest of you can't see is a copper stood 20 feet away! http://t.co/cHw31B5GSi— @galmond 13 February 2014
@brightonews @brightonargus @brightonbuzz http://t.co/qyDql58KAv— @BHPubHealthEP 13 February 2014
It appears the bomb disposal team has arrived in Brighton:
#Brighton #bomb disposal van is here http://t.co/OKeXPa69cU— @BAFIC 13 February 2014
Bomb scare in Brighton :-/ http://t.co/apKNPKYErO— @BeckyRowland 13 February 2014
We've just been evacuated from our office with a BOMB SCARE in Brighton!?— @DiageoLiam 13 February 2014
From scene at clock tower / queens rd #Brighton re sus package http://t.co/iojKvgdy1i— @BHPubHealthEP 13 February 2014
We have just had a statement from the South East Counter Terrorism Unit:
The South East Counter Terrorism Unit is currently investigating reports of a number of suspect packages found at Army Careers offices today (Thursday, February 13).
The contents of the package are being assessed and MoD bomb disposal units have been called, as is routine with any suspect package.
The packages were found at Army Careers offices in St Giles, Oxford, Queensmere Shopping Centre, Slough, and Queen's Road, Brighton.
Suspect packages were found at a number of Army Careers offices yesterday (12/2) in Aldershot, Reading and Chatham.
Detective Superintendent Stan Gilmour, of the South East Counter Terrorism Unit, said: "Because suspicious packages were found at various locations yesterday notes were sent out to all the Army Careers offices as well as the Post Office asking staff to be extra vigilant and look out for any suspect packages."
Those of you looking to get a bus need to know about diversions in place because of the bomb scare:
Service 6 - Due to the road closure all services will be terminating at the Old Steine. We cannot currently serve Brighton Station.
Service 7 - Eastbound are currently diverted via Upper Glouceter Road, Dyke Road and Imperial Arcade. Westbound are diverted directly up Imperial Arcade, Dyke Road to which they will resume normal route from the Seven Dials we cannot currently serve Brighton Station from this direction.
Service 14’s - Eastbound are currently diverted via Upper Glouceter Road, Dyke Road and Imperial Arcade back to Churchill Square. Westbound are diverted directly up Imperial Arcade, Dyke Road to which they will resume normal route from the Seven Dials we cannot currently serve Brighton Station from this direction.
Service 27 Eastbound are currently diverted via Upper Glouceter Road, Dyke Road and Imperial Arcade. Westbound are diverted directly up Imperial Arcade, Dyke Road to which they will resume normal route from the Seven Dials we cannot currently serve Brighton Station from this direction.
Service 48 Eastbound are currently diverted via Upper Glouceter Road, Dyke Road and Imperial Arcade. Westbound are diverted directly up Imperial Arcade, Dyke Road to which they will return to Brighton Station Stop D
Service 50 - Due to the road closure all services will be terminating at the Imperial Arcade. We cannot currently serve Brighton Station.
This just in from the Ministry of Defence:
An MOD Spokesperson said: We are aware of ongoing security incidents in Slough and Brighton involving Armed Forces Careers Offices.
"The relevant civilian police constabularies are investigating, with military EOD teams in support, and any further enquiries should be directed to the police. Security advice has been reiterated to our personnel."
"@BHPubHealthEP: I'm BHCC incident liaison officer to @sussex_police at scene at #clock tower / #queensrd" @brightonchamber @brightonargus— @KCPhotographyEU 13 February 2014
RT @quadrantpub: @brightonargus snapped this just before I was evacuated http://t.co/1nw8cjdeic— @Boutique_Hotel 13 February 2014
Update on the number of offices targeted is now six. Three today - Brighton, Slough and Oxford - and three previously - Reading, Aldershot and Chatham.
Army bomb experts are en route to Brighton from Aldershot.
This is what is happening in Oxford:
Sussex Police have confirmed the package was outside the army recruitment office in Queens Road.
Similar bomb scares are currently taking place in Oxford and Slough but a police spokesman said it was too early to comment on if the incidents are linked.
And this is from our report on the scene Anna Roberts:
"Roads are closed from the Clock Tower to the junction with North Street. Almost all of Queen’s Road.
"Apparently someone rang the army office this morning, said there was a suspicious package heading their way, was a package and so they called the police.
"People in offices nearby were told to leave immediately and were told it could be a bomb."
He said: "Every business in the street has been evacuated. There are about ten police cars and three fire trucks."
This is a photo of the scene from Nick Powell, who had to evacutae his office:
Brighton city centre has been closed due to a bomb scare.
A suspicious package was discovered this morning in Queens Road with police quickly sealing off the area.
Some buildings nearby have also been evacuated.
Police say the roads will be closed will be several hours while the incident is being dealt with.