TWO men have been arrested under the Terrorism Act after a bomb squad were called to a house in Whitefield today.
Police attended the property, in Victoria Avenue, at 11.24am after receiving a report of suspicious items at the house.
Officers attended and following an initial assessment, two men – both in their 20s – were arrested. They are being interviewed by counter terrorism detectives.
Bomb disposal officers attended the house to make an assessment, but their examinations have not revealed anything which appears to be explosives so far.
An eyewitness who lives in the street said: “I was on my bike and saw a police car and wondered what was going.
“Then a police van turned up and they said we had to go 20 metres away. I saw them bring two guys out.”
Another resident, Sarah Carroll, who lives in Victoria Avenue, was picking her children up from nearby Whitefield Community Primary School when the police arrived.
She said: “I was picking them up early and as I came back out, the police said I could not get back out.
“I was eventually let out of the other side of the school. When I got home I was told to pick some stuff up and go.
“It’s a bit close to home. It’s a bit like Coronation Street.”
Victoria Avenue, as well as a number of surrounding streets, have been taped off all afternoon.
Road closures have been in place while enquiries are ongoing.
Ongoing incident on Victoria Avenue Whitefield pic.twitter.com/Bu4XLa91NO
— GMP Whitefield (@GMPWhitefield) June 4, 2018
Whitefield Community Primary School was in lockdown earlier in the afternoon, with staff and pupils told to stay on site.
Parents were contacted and asked to collect their children at the Lancaster Road entrance at the usual time.
The school is not involved in the incident.
Superintendent Rick Jackson, from GMP’s Bury borough, said: “We have to take all reports of this nature extremely seriously and always at the forefront of our mind is making sure our communities are safe.
“The examinations will continue into this evening and any updates will be shared as soon as we are able to.
“We have to keep a cordon in place solely as a precaution for those living in the immediate area and we will continue to work with partners to support those affected.
“We are keeping an open mind in relation to this incident but in these circumstances we know the public would expect us to be thorough with our enquiries.
“I want to reassure people that we have specialist detectives investigating this report to establish the full facts.
“There will be lots of officers in the area and if you have any concerns then please speak to them and they will try and assist in any way they can.”
Anyone who has been evacuated from inside the cordon, and is struggling to find accommodation support, should contact 0161 253 6606.
Source : BournemouthEcho