UPDATE: Shoppers allowed back into Queensgate after “suspicious package” is declared safe

editorial image

Staff and shoppers at Peterborough’s Queensgate Centre have been allowed back in after police evacuated the area after reports of a suspicious package.

The John Lewis area of the shopping centre was evacuated after police were called at 10.52am to reports of a suspicious carrier bag.

A spokesperson for Queensgate Shopping Centre said: “On Monday 5 June, a suspicious package was found and the police were called immediately.

“As a precaution, West Square, North Square and the North Mall have been evacuated while the investigation continues.”

The us station was also calmly evacuated as officers set up a cordon.

This has now been removed and police declared the area safe at 11.52am and the centre was returned to normal.

The scene inside Queensgate as the evacuation continues

The scene inside Queensgate as the evacuation continues

A tannoy announcement at around midday told all store staff to return to their units and shoppers are now being allowed back in.

Only this morning, Monday June 5, Cambridgeshire police released a statement saying that there will be an increased visible police presence across the county today following the terror attack in London.

Police are asking the public to be alert, but not alarmed, and to report any suspicious behaviour or activity.

The threat to the UK from international terrorism remains at “severe”, meaning an attack is highly likely.

Chief Constable Alec Wood said: “Our thoughts are with the victims and families of those who have lost loved ones following the truly horrendous attacks in London.

“Our colleagues in the Metropolitan Police and emergency services have done a brilliant job in responding to these attacks and we are thinking of them all at this time.

“There will be a heightened visible policing presence across key locations in the county today and I would like to reassure the public that we remain dedicated to keeping people safe.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite said: “Another appalling terrorist attack has taken place in London and our thoughts and prayers are with all of those who are affected by this atrocity.

“Cambridgeshire Constabulary works closely with regional and national agencies to ensure we are as safe as we possibly can be. Following the Manchester attack there has been an increased presence of armed policing at our key tourist sites and an increased presence at all major events across the county.

“I will be talking to the Chief Constable today to be assured that the constabulary will continue with the additional patrolling. I will ensure that all resources necessary are made available to the constabulary at this difficult time.

“As far as I am aware, there continues to be no threat in Cambridgeshire that we are aware of, but we must all remain vigilant and ensure that if there is something that you see or hear that you are not sure about, that this is reported to the police immediately.

“We must stay calm and go about our daily lives to ensure that terrorism never wins. We are a nation with a big heart with thousands of years of history rooted firmly in our land of freedom and democracy. We stand together defiant and ever resilient as one nation.”

“While there remains no specific threat to Cambridgeshire and Peterborough we will continue to monitor the situation and ensure our streets are kept safe.

“We are united in grief and will stand together to show that these barbaric acts will not weaken our communities but will strengthen them.”