Investigations continue after Wrexham Maelor Hospital 'hoax' security alert

Police say they are still working to identify a suspect after being called to reports of a suspicious package at Wrexham Maelor Hospital - now believed to be a hoax.

North Wales Police said a man arrested as part of the investigation is no longer a suspect and has been released.

There was a large police presence at the hospital on Thursday while the incident was dealt with, and patient appointments were disrupted for part of the day.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board confirmed a search of the hospital had been carried out by police.

In a statement, the force said: "Following the arrest of a man in connection with incident at Wrexham Maelor Hospital yesterday, further investigation has confirmed that the man is no longer a suspect for this offence and he has been released with no further action.

"Police investigations are continuing in order to identify the suspect."

A health board spokesperson said: "Access to the hospital is no longer restricted and we would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused."

Patients with appointments on Thursday afternoon had previously been asked not to attend, and people had been urged to avoid the area.

Contrary to some reports, the health board said the hospital had not been evacuated.

Chief Inspector Mark Williams from North Wales Police said: "I would like to thank staff, patients and the public for their cooperation and patience following what appears to have been a hoax call to Wrexham Maelor Hospital. "Our priority throughout this afternoon’s incident was to ensure people were kept safe."

Police vehicles closed off parts of the surrounding area. Credit: North Wales Live

Earlier, police had confirmed they were dealing with an incident at the Wrexham Maelor Hospital and had asked people to avoid the area until further notice.

In an initial statement, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board had said: "Due to an ongoing incident at Wrexham Maelor Hospital that is being managed by North Wales Police, we are asking people not to attend their planned appointments (22 April 2021) and to avoid the site.

"We would like to apologise for any inconvenience and will provide another update soon."

Later, the health board tweeted to say: "We are working with North Wales Police following a security alert at the Wrexham Maelor Hospital site.

"The hospital has not been evacuated, but the movement of people to and from the site is being restricted while the investigation continues. We would like to remind people not to attend the hospital."