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'IRA' group claims it sent devices to army recruitment centres

A group calling itself the IRA has claimed responsibility for suspect packages sent to armed forces recruitment centres last week. Scotland Yard said a group using a recognised codeword had contacted a media outlet in Northern Ireland on Saturday.

Four suspected explosive devices were discovered at Army careers offices in Oxford, Brighton, Canterbury and the Queensmere shopping centre in Slough last Thursday.

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Suspect packages found at locations across South East

This map shows the locations across the South East where suspect packages have been found in the last three days.

The blue markers designate packages that were found on Tuesday, green is for yesterday and the red markers are for today.

Locations where suspect packages have been found Credit: Google Maps

Police investigating 'suspect packages' at Army Careers offices

The South East Counter Terrorism Unit is currently investigating reports of a number of suspect packages found at Army Careers offices today.

The contents of the package are being assessed and MOD Bomb Disposal Units have been called, as is routine with any suspect package.

The packages were found at Army Careers offices in St Giles, Oxford, Queensmere Shopping Centre, Slough, and Queens Road, Brighton.

Suspect packages were found at a number of Army Careers offices in Aldershot, Reading and Chatham.

– Thames Valley Police

Bomb disposal unit called to 'suspect package' at army careers office

Counter-terrorism police are investigating reports of a suspect package being found at an army careers office in Slough. Packages were also found at Oxford and Brighton. Similar packages were found yesterday in Aldershot, Reading and Chatham.

Google Street View image of Credit: Google Street View

Ministry of Defence bomb disposal units have been called which is routine with any suspect package. Detective Superintendent Stan Gilmour, of the south east counter terrorism unit, said:

"Because suspicious packages were found at various locations yesterday, notes were sent out to all the army careers offices, as well as the Post Office, asking staff to be extra vigilant and look out for any suspect packages."

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Arrests after EDL protest

Four people have been arrested after the English Defence League (EDL) held a protest and a counter-demonstration took place in a town centre.

Thames Valley Police said that an incident of minor disorder happened in Slough, Berkshire, as the protests took place.

Between 100 and 150 people were estimated by police to have gathered in the town for the demonstrations.

Staff 'don't feel they can raise concerns' at Slough hospital

The Care Quality Commission says it's inspectors felt concerned that staff members didn't feel they could safely report concerns without fear of reprisals.

Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has told the CQC that improvements will be made after the hospital failed to meet eight of the nine standards when reviewed.

We found there was a clear emphasis on responding to national and local clinical targets but less emphasis on ensuring that overall patient experiences were positive.

Most worrying perhaps is that staff did not always feel they could raise concerns or make suggestions, and that some were reluctant to be identified as having raised concerns for fear of reprisals.

The trust has told us that it will take action to make the improvements required. We will monitor this closely, and we will be returning to inspect the trust.

– Adrian Hughes, Regional Director of Care Quality Commission in the South

Care Quality Commission calls for urgent review of Slough hospital

The Care Quality Commission is calling for an urgent review of care at Wexham Park Hospital in Slough. It's told the Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust that urgent improvements need to be made to protect patients.

CQC has issued six formal warning notices to the trust following an unannounced inspection at which it failed to meet eight of the nine national standards which were reviewed.

Inspectors found that:

  • On the Acute Medical Ward care given to patients was below standard on a number of occasions
  • Patient's dignity and privacy was not always respected
  • There were poor standards of cleanliness and inadequate infection control in some parts of the hospital.
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