A TEENAGER who caused a bomb scare after going into Brighton station with a rucksack full of chemicals has been handed a caution.

The 17-year-old boy from Peacehaven was arrested under suspicion of possessing an explosive substance after a 12-hour police hunt on Friday, March 13.

Yesterday police confirmed the boy, who attends college in Brighton, had been given a youth caution for possession of a class B drug, understood to be amphetamines.

No action was taken over his arrest under suspicion of possessing explosives, with police saying yesterday the evidence did not support this.

A police spokesman said: “There was no evidence to suggest that the chemicals the boy was in possession of were for an unlawful purpose or that he was planning on using them to make or use for an unlawful purpose.

“He was not in possession of the necessary elements to create an explosive material.”

An alert was first issued the previous night for a “high-risk vulnerable missing person”.

Brighton station was evacuated the following day after a suspicious bag was found and police linked the two incidents.

Officers cordoned off half the station’s concourse, calling the Royal Navy Bomb Disposal Unit and an East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service hazardous materials officer to the scene.

It is understood the bag contained a large quantity of potassium nitrate, glycerine, potassium manganate and mercury.

The teenager was arrested on suspicion of threatening to damage or destroy property and possession of cocaine.

Following his arrest police said it was considered unlikely the chemicals could be used to make a bomb.

A Sussex Police spokesman said at the time: “The chemicals suggested he could be a danger to himself but unlikely to be a threat to others. Due to other information received, it was not considered there was any threat of him planning to make a bomb or causing any form of explosion.”


Police were first alerted over concerns for a vulnerable student with mental health problems in possession of chemicals at 5pm on March 12.

Later that day The Argus discovered police were looking for a boy “for his own safety” with officers searching a flat in Collingwood Close, Peacehaven.

Police defended their decision not to alert the public when they discovered the teenager was missing and in possession of chemicals.

A spokesman said policing strategies assessed the risk to the public but, as the level was low, it was not considered necessary to issue a public appeal or warning.

The bomb squad was called as a precaution with the contents of the bag not amounting to a threat of a terrorist incident.