25th Sep, 2018

Explosives scare: 'Searches conclude' after bomb squad return to Coventry home for third time

Felix Nobes 30th Apr, 2018 Updated: 30th Apr, 2018

THE ARMY’S bomb squad returned to a Whoberley home at the weekend to conclude ‘searches’ following last week’s explosives scare.

The police said investigations are on-going but searches at the property on Brookside Avenue, Whoberley, have now ended.

Cordons around Rubens Close and Brookside Avenue are expected to be lifted today, police say.

There were no evacuations on Saturday morning as the bomb disposal unit returned to the site for the third time.

A 20-year-old was detained on Tuesday after ‘suspicious items’ were found at his home.

The suspect was released on bail last Thursday morning after ‘helping’ police with inquiries.

West Midlands Police had said the explosives disposal team returned ‘on an advisory capacity’ to continue with investigations on Wednesday afternoon.

The police also insisted only a few homes were evacuated and a mass evacuation did not taken place.

Evacuated families stayed in alternative forms of accommodation such as community centres and hotels on Tuesday and Wednesday last week.

A policeman on duty told the Observer on Wednesday he had been warned the investigation could go on as long as 48 hours and that he was posted on the cordon surrounding Brookside Avenue until 12am.

A police spokesperson said on Wednesday: “A cordon remains in place in Brookside Avenue in Coventry while searches of the property continue.

“West Midlands Police has been advised by Explosive Ordnance Disposal to maintain the cordon so Army vehicles are able to easily access the property.

“Around eight houses have been evacuated on Explosive Ordnance Disposal’s request while their work continues alongside West Midlands Police officers.

“A 20-year-old man remains in custody this afternoon (Wednesday) and continues to help police with enquiries following his arrest in Coventry yesterday under the Explosives Act.

“We appreciate the understanding of people affected by the disruption and hope to keep this to a minimum.”

A member of the Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire Resilience Team – a council run service to support those affected by emergencies – confirmed to us families were taken to the Allesley Park Neighbourhood Centre once again at around midday on Wednesday.

He said families were evacuated from their homes for the first time on Tuesday at around 11am.

Some stayed at the Allesley Park Neighbourhood Centre until they were taken to hotels in the area at around 8pm.

But they were allowed to return to their homes at 9.30pm until the police unexpectedly returned to the scene on Wednesday.

He said: “Our role is to support people that have been evacuated. We got the call from the police. We were here most of the day supporting the people that were impacted.

“We did source some accommodation for them, most families went to the hotels and came back when the cordon was lifted.”

He confirmed it was more than eight families which had been affected with the figure believed to be upward of 10.

Whoberley councillor Bally Singh posted an update on Facebook which said: “#UPDATE- latest update from the council regarding the Brookside Avenue incident.

“I have been informed in the last 15 minutes that the incident from yesterday has been re-opened.

“Police have identified further materials which they are concerned about.

“Police have put the cordon back up from yesterday and will be evacuating the area – we believe the cordon is the same as yesterday but this has not been clarified.

“In regards to our actions we:

· Have two officers on site from CSW resilience

· Are looking to re-open Allesley Park Neighbourhood Centre as the Rest Centre and currently awaiting delivery of the keys

· Are putting on standby rest centre volunteers if they are required

· Notified housing and will update them if we need them to start looking at temporary accommodation.”

Rubens Close and Brookside Avenue were cordoned off as a bomb disposal unit searched a property.

West Midlands Police said: “Officers executed a warrant at an address in Brookside Avenue, Coventry today (Tuesday April 24).

“Following a search of the property, officers found some suspicious items and the army’s explosive ordnance disposal team has been called to carry out an examination of the items.

“As a precaution, a cordon has been placed around the property. A small number of neighbouring properties have also been evacuated as a precaution.

“A 20-year-old local man has been detained under the Explosives Act.”

Chief superintendent Mike O’Hara of Coventry Police said: “Today’s search and small evacuation is being done as a precautionary measure and we appreciate the understanding of people affected by the disruption.

“Enqiuiries continue to establish if the items at the property are suspicious and we’re keeping an open mind.”

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