Stevenage bomb scare: Police reappeal a week after coffee cup hoax

PUBLISHED: 14:32 04 October 2017

The suspicious device was located by a member of council staff in The Forum, Stevenage.

The suspicious device was located by a member of council staff in The Forum, Stevenage.

Archant

A week after Stevenage town centre came to a standstill while officers investigated a hoax coffee cup ‘bomb’ outside TK Maxx, police are reappealing for anyone with information to come forward.

There were a series of police cordons in the town, and shoppers and business owners had to wait hours before being allowed into shops. Picture: Martin Elvery There were a series of police cordons in the town, and shoppers and business owners had to wait hours before being allowed into shops. Picture: Martin Elvery

The coffee cup with stickers and protruding wires was found by a member of the public outside the store at The Forum at 8.45am on Wednesday last week.

A large section of the town centre was cordoned off, and following a quick response by police officers and bomb disposal experts, the device was detonated in a controlled explosion at around 11.20am.

An investigation is now underway to trace the origins of the device, which the bomb disposal unit confirmed was not viable. Officers are treating the incident as a hoax.

Det Sgt Bianca Broadbent from Stevenage’s local crime unit said: “One week on from this incident, we remain focused on doing all we can to trace the person or persons responsible for deliberately placing this suspicious item in a public place.

Traffic at the corner of St George's Way, Six Hills Way and the A602 in Stevenage after roads were closed during the bomb scare. Picture: Jeremy Williams Traffic at the corner of St George's Way, Six Hills Way and the A602 in Stevenage after roads were closed during the bomb scare. Picture: Jeremy Williams

“In today’s climate of heightened alert around terrorism, people were understandably frightened and distressed by this incident.

“I want to assure the community that we are following several significant lines of enquiry and officers are viewing many hours’ worth of CCTV footage of the surrounding area.

“We are now reappealing to anyone with a dash cam, particularly those with motion sensors, whose car was parked in the area of the car park nearest to B&M to please get in touch. You may have captured the offenders approaching or leaving the scene.

“The location is often a high footfall area so we are also appealing to anyone who saw a person or persons acting suspiciously in the area on the day prior to the incident, as well as the early morning of September 27.

The police cordon in place at the Forum. Picture: Martin Elvery The police cordon in place at the Forum. Picture: Martin Elvery

“We would again like to thank the public and local commerce in Stevenage for their support while we and the Explosive Ordnance Disposal team took action at the scene.

“The person who made the initial call to us did exactly the right thing in the circumstances and we would urge people to remain vigilant, reporting any concerns via 101. If there is immediate danger to life, always call 999.

“If you have any information at all, however insignificant it may seem, please dial 101 and quote ISR 124 of September 27 – you may have vital evidence.”

Alternatively, if you have any information you can contact the independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their anonymous online form at crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will never need to go to court.

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