Kent

Two people arrested over Canterbury bomb hoaxes

Canterbury closure (picture by Alex Gibson and Frederick Gower)
Image caption The bus station in Canterbury was evacuated (picture by Alex Gibson and Frederick Gower)

Two people have been arrested in connection with two bomb hoaxes that caused a major alert in Canterbury.

Trains were halted and parts of the city cleared while police investigated the incidents, on 26 August.

A 41-year-old woman and a man, aged 52, were arrested on Friday following an appeal for information on the BBC's Crimewatch programme, Kent Police said.

Officers raided two properties after receiving a number of phone calls from members of the public.

Det Ch Insp Tom Richards said: "I want to thank the public for responding to our appeal and for the information that they have provided so far.

Smoke grenade

"Based on some significant information we received yesterday we have arrested two people this morning and they currently remain in custody.

"We would still like to hear from anyone who has any information which they think could assist the investigation."

Emergency services were first alerted to the hoaxes when a call was received by Kent Police main control room at 16:20 BST, informing them of a suspect package near the railway line off Old Dover Road.

About an hour later, they were called to a suspected fire in the baby changing area of Marks and Spencer in Whitefriars Shopping Centre, where a second suspect package was found.

The package at Old Dover Road was then confirmed as a hoax device.

A smoke grenade was found to have been activated in Marks and Spencer, which police said was a sophisticated device designed to cause maximum disruption.

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