Homes evacuated in bomb scare

A NUMBER of homes had to be evacuated after a mystery ‘explosive device’ was discovered at Battle’s police station last Thursday (September 29).

A member of the public found the device while digging on land in Battle and handed it in to the police station in North Trade Road.

The station, a number of homes behind the site and a property in North Trade Road were evacuated at 10am when the army explosive ordinance disposal team (EOD) attended the scene.

The device was taken into the yard at the police station and put into a ‘bomb pit’ to be destroyed.

A bomb pit is a brick-built box, lined with sand, and is commonplace at many police stations.

A series of loud bangs could be heard in the town centre as the EOD attempted to destroy the device in a controlled explosion.

The device was finally destroyed just after 1.35pm.

No-one was hurt and the explosion only caused minor damage to an interior wall within the police station yard.

The six police officers and all the residents who were evacuated were allowed back inside shortly afterwards.

Police have refused to reveal the nature of the device.

What remains of the mystery item has been sent away for analysis.

Divisional Duty Inspector Lee Lyons said the device did not represent a danger to any members of the public.

Insp Lyons said: “Throughout this incident normal policing of Rother district was maintained with only minor inconvenience to some officers.

“The police station and surrounding buildings have now returned to normal and investigations are ongoing into the exact origin of the item.”

It is the second time bomb disposal experts have been called to North Trade Road in just under 18 months.

In May 2010, a suspected nail bomb was discovered in a teenager’s bedroom in a property just a few doors down from the police station.

Officers were searching for suspected stolen goods when they found what they believed to be a bomb in a drawer in the 15-year-old’s bedside table.

The device was made out of batteries, nails and yellow putty and had a clock face.

The bomb disposal team attended the scene and x-rayed the item, but discovered it was just a model and was not capable of being exploded.

Police have said the two incidents are not believed to be linked.