A suspicious package near Peterborough City Market caused massive disruption in Peterborough today (Tuesday, December 13).
The action unfolded at about 9.15am when police were called by a member of the public saying there was a device bleeping in a bin inside the toilet at the Market multi-storey.
The city market was then evacuated, with a message delivered over the tannoy for staff to leave.
A cordon was then put up around the market. This was gradually extended into a cordon 100m away from where the device was found, meaning staff at Tesco and Wilko were also evacuated.
Richard Holdich, who owns a footwear stall at the market, said: “Standing here, we have no chance of taking anything. I’m frustrated as yesterday we were closed.”
Naza Afsar, who owns the ‘Naza 15 Min Curries’ stall, said: “It’s frustrating that we are losing business, but everyone is outside for their safety.”
One visitor from Hull was also in for a bit of a shock when he visited the city’s passport office, which is situated next to the market.
He said an announcement was made inside the office that a suspected bomb had been found nearby.
Peterborough City Council staff at Bayard Place were next to be evacuated, while the cordon closed off a large part of Broadway which meant workers at a number of stores also had to leave.
Traffic down Broadway was especially bad, with cars and buses having to turn around when they saw the road had been cordoned off by Ba Shoh.
The bomb squad arrived at 11.15am and soon afterwards there was a controlled explosion, with bystanders hearing a bang.
Shoppers eagerly awaiting to get into Tesco and other stores were finally able to get their wish nearly an hour later when the cordon was finally lifted.
The Peterborough Telegraph then interviewed Inspector Dominic Glazebrook about the morning’s events.
Incredibly, police in Peterborough were called to reports of a second suspicious package in the afternoon.
Officers were called to a car park at the junction of Lincoln Road and Westgate close to the Megabite takeaway at 12.25pm. A suitcase was found and evaluated but has been deemed non-suspicious by officers.