Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham package incident 'malicious hoax'

Police are investigating whether a suspicious package put in a post box of the Refugee Council in Birmingham was a racially-motivated "malicious hoax".

A package found in the Lionel Street office was not harmful, West Midlands Police said, and a cordoned off area was later reopened.

It said it was keeping an open mind in terms of motive, "but cannot rule out that it was racially motivated".

Some train services at Snow Hill station were suspended.

Lionel Street, Constitution Hill and Livery Street were closed while the package was investigated.

Trains delayed

The army bomb disposal unit was sent to the scene.

Police were contacted at 1015 BST and were at the scene within five minutes, a spokesman said.

About 300 people were told to leave the affected buildings.

British Transport Police closed the track between the Snow Hill and Jewellery Quarter stations, affecting Chiltern Railways and London Midland services.

National Rail said earlier that because of this there were no trains running between The Hawthorns and Birmingham Moor Street.

Trains in the area were being delayed by up to 50 minutes, but the track reopened in the afternoon.

Police thanked people for "their patience and understanding".

The Refugee Council champions the rights of asylum seekers and refugees in the UK.

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