Houses in Belper evacuated as man arrested on suspicion of explosives offences

A police cordon near Acorn Drive in Belper, Derbyshire. Credit: PA

Residents 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 had been evacuated in Belper after a search was carried out and a man was arrested on suspicion of explosives offences.

Officers attended a house in Acorn Drive in Belper just after 6pm on Friday (3 February) after the police were called to reports of concern for the safety of a man.

A search of the house was made and a number of suspicious items were found.

Following advice from Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team a 100-metre cordon has been put in place around properties in Acorn Way, Acorn Drive, Swinney Drive and Swinney Bank.

Acorn Drive was closed at its junction with Mill Street and Swinney Lane was closed between its junction with Mill Street and just after the junction with Swinney Bank.

One resident, who was at the Thorn Tree Inn pub – which sits on the edge of the police cordon, 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 had taken shelter at the pub.

Asked how the evacuees 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.”

A police cordon near Acorn Drive in Belper, Derbyshire. Credit: PA

Derbyshire Police put out a statement just before 8.30pm on Saturday saying residents who had been evacuated can now return to their homes.

The statement read: "All residents whose properties were 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. "Enquiries 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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