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Teenage boy charged over M3 incident which closed motorway for eleven hours

Officers investigating an incident on the M3 on Saturday 23 September have arrested and charged a 17-year-old boy from Winchester.

He was charged on 30 September with:

  • • Two counts of arson with intent to endanger life in connection with incidents on the M3 on 16 and 23 September
  • • Two counts of causing danger to road users in connection with incidents on the M3 on 16 and 23 September

The M3 was closed for eleven hours as police investigated the incident at a footbridge near St Catherine's Hill on the outskirts of Winchester.

The bomb squad was brought in and the area sealed off, as inquiries were made into the nature of material alleged to have been thrown from the bridge shortly before 4am.

The following day police revealed they were not treating the incident as terrorist activity.

Hampshire Police were criticised for not giving adequate information about the incident and for poor traffic management.

But they said public safety was their top priority and had a duty to investigate the matter thoroughly.

The boy has been remanded in police custody to appear at Basingstoke Magistrates’ Court on Monday 2 October.