Safe for Belper residents to return home after security scare, police say


esidents who had been evacuated in a Derbyshire town following an explosives scare can now return to their homes, police have said.

A number of houses in Belper were cleared after officers were called to a property on Acorn Drive where they arrested a man on suspicion of explosive offences and found “suspicious items”.

Derbyshire Constabulary said inquiries are ongoing, but it is not being treated as a terrorist incident.

An Explosive Ordnance Disposal team had advised that a 100m-radius around the suspect’s property be cordoned off, which led to the evacuation of people living on Acorn Way, Acorn Drive, Swinney Lane and Swinney Bank.

Some of the evacuated residents sheltered in a nearby pub – the Thorn Tree Inn – bordering the police cordon, one person told the PA news agency.

She said: “From what I can gather, the police have been knocking on the houses, advising people to leave. They’ve not forced them but advised them to go out.

“They’ve told them they’ll ring when it’s safe to return and they’re opening up the Strutt Community Centre for people who live in that area to go to tonight.”

She added that at least three evacuated residents were passing the time there.

Asked how they were feeling about the situation, she said: “They seem okay to be fair. They’re just probably surprised and concerned that you don’t know who is living near you.

“I think they arrested him last night, the chap. The people who live near know who it is.”

The Strutt Centre on Derby Road had opened as a rest centre where residents could go for shelter and refreshments.

A spokesperson from Derbyshire Constabulary said: “All those evacuated following the incident in Belper are now able to return to their homes.

“We would like to thank everyone affected for their patience and for their assistance throughout today.

“Inquiries are continuing into the items found at the address, however, we are able to confirm that this is not being treated as a terrorist incident and there are no wider risks or concerns regarding the safety of the public.

“Further information will be released as and when available and appropriate.”

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