UPDATE: Bomb squad leaves scene of Notts shopping centre after scare

Reports are coming in that the Sutton shopping centre has been made safe and bomb disposal experts have allowed people to enter.

Monday, 23rd May 2016, 3:42 pm
Updated Monday, 23rd May 2016, 7:23 pm
Bomb disposal units were at Sutton's Idlewells Shopping Centre today after an unidentified package was found.

Reports of a bomb scare flooded across social media after Nottinghamshire Police were called to reports of a suspicious package.

British Army specialists were called to inspect an 'unidentified package' at the Notts shopping centre evacuated due to a bomb scare.

But the latest report from our reporter on the scene is that bomb squad officers in protective gear have left the scene and some staff members at the shopping centre have been allowed to enter.

Officer cordoned off the scene while Army specialists investigated the parcel, believed to be the size of a shoebox.

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Bomb disposal officers attended the shopping centre after a call of an unidentified parcel.

Idlewells Shopping Centre in Sutton was evacuated by police at lunchtime today (Monday, May 23) and the area is cordoned off as army specialists were brought in to investigate the parcel reportedly found in a toilet block.

The incident follows reports from across the UK of numerous bomb threats made to 25 schools.

These include a message sent to Crabtree Farm Primary School in Bulwell - but Police said they were not treating the incidents as connected.

Emergency services at the scene which has now been made safe.

An officer said: "The incident at Crabtree was based on a telephone message that the school received - the school was evacuated and thoroughly searched and no package was found. Children returned to school at around 1.50pm."

Nottinghamshire police said officers reacted quickly to evacuate the area around the market square.

The force said: "A suspicious package or unidentified item has been found in Idlewells Shopping Centre.

"To exercise precaution we have evacuated the centre."

Market Street

"Our response unit is managing traffic control and ensuring people are at a safe distance."

Councillor Tom Hollis said Nottinghamshire County Councillors were receiving security briefings regularly on the situation.

He added: "The County Council has briefed members because it comes to us to decide if nearby buildings should be evacuated. In this instance, due to the relatively small size of the package, which is roughly the size of a shoe-box, the decision was made not to evacuate houses, and a cordon is in place.

"It's distressed people," he added. "Residents are frightened, but they're being understand that we have to be careful and we can't take any chances."

Our reporter at the scene said alarms were continuing to sound in the area as the army operation continues

Nick Frame said: "Shop-keeepers are telling us that the alarms sounded at around 2 o clock - they've been told it could be hours until customers are let back into the centre.

Shoppers gathered outside the centre after the evacuation.

"We've seen one of the specialists dressed in the 'Hurt Locker' style bomb disposal suit."

"This unit has now left and we've seen some members of staff return into the building, but no customers as yet."

"Hundreds of people are gathered around waiting to see what's happening and the alarms are still sounding over two hours after the call was made."

East Midlands Ambulance Service said crews were called to the scene but then called away, and it is believed no-one has been hurt int he incident.

A spokesperson said: "We have been asked to support the police in what appears to be a bomb threat. we have two crews who have attended but both have been called clear."

More on this story as it unfolds

Police cordons
Ambulance crews were in attendance to support police.
Officer cordoned off the scene while Army specialists investigated the parcel, believed to be the size of a shoebox.
Bomb disposal officers attended the shopping centre after a call of an unidentified parcel.
Emergency services at the scene which has now been made safe.
Market Street
Shoppers gathered outside the centre after the evacuation.
Police cordons
Ambulance crews were in attendance to support police.