Businesses evacuated after ‘suspicious package’ found in Derbyshire

Nottingham Road, Ilkeston.
Nottingham Road, Ilkeston.

Businesses had to be evacuated and a road closed off after a suspicious package was found this morning in Derbyshire.

A heavy suitcase was discovered in a side street by Willbond Plumbing Centres on Nottingham Road in Ilkeston.

Derbyshire police were called and officers sealed off the area while they investigated. Kevin Uveges, a worker at Willbond, said his boss found the suitcase when he opened the site at 7.30am this morning.

He said: “We found the suitcase outside our building in a little side street, which can be accessed by the public.

“It was quite heavy and we didn’t know what it was - so we called the police.

“They came about half-an-hour later and we were told to evacuate and inform other businesses to do the same.”

On Saturday, the UK terror threat level was reduced from ‘critical’ to ‘severe’.

The change, which was announced by Prime Minister Theresa May, indicates an attack is highly likely, not expected imminently.

The threat level was raised to ‘critical’ following Monday night’s bomb attack at the Manchester Arena which killed 22 people and left scores injured.

Derbyshire Constabulary’s Deputy Chief Constable, Peter Goodman, said: “Our message is, as it has been all week, that we want people to go about their business as normal and enjoy events like concerts and festivals.

“You will have seen more officers on the streets of Derbyshire this week to offer reassurance and you will most likely experience tighter security arrangements at events you attend.

“The threat level has now been reduced to ‘severe’, which means an attack is highly likely, and we would ask people to remain vigilant as always and report any suspicious people, packages or vehicles.”

A Derbyshire Constabulary spokesman added: “We are continuing to work with local authorities and event organisers to review security arrangements at large-scale public events.

“We advise the public to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious behaviour or activity to the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321.

“In an emergency, the public should always call 999.”