Beds, Herts & Bucks

Street in Luton evacuated over 'suspicious' vehicle

Bomb disposal team on a closed-off street in Luton.
Image caption Bedfordshire Police said a bomb disposal team was called as a precaution

A street in Luton has been evacuated and a controlled explosion carried out after reports of a suspicious vehicle.

Police were called to Napier Road by a member of the public at 08:30 on Tuesday and a cordon was put in place.

Bedfordshire Police said a bomb disposal team was called and a "small number" of people were moved away from the area as a precautionary measure.

A spokeswoman said an investigation was under way, but there is "no wider threat to the public".

Insp Jim Goldsmith, at the scene, said: "As we do with all suspicious vehicles, we follow a certain course of action for everybody's safety.

"We followed normal procedures and there were bits about the vehicle we weren't happy with, so we've gone with specialist advice.

"I would like to reassure members of the public that this is normal procedure.

"There is no reason at this stage to think it's anything other than a suspicious vehicle."

Image copyright Craig Clyburne
Image caption People living nearby were told to leave their homes and a controlled explosion was carried out

Police said one controlled explosion was carried out to gain access to a vehicle, though a BBC reporter at the scene said he heard at least three bangs.

Alexander Majoni, who lives nearby, said: "I could see a sniffer dog and, after an hour, a bomb squad arrived and I also saw bomb disposal robots.

"Another police car then came and they closed off a few surrounding streets. I had to leave using the back door of my house."

Bernard Elwen, who lives nearby, said: "I was sitting at my desk and I heard a big bang - I wasn't sure whether it was a car crash or a shooting.

"A police officer asked me to move to the other side of the cordon. It's quite worrying but the police seem to have it under control."

Image caption A police spokeswoman said they followed normal procedures and there was no threat to the public

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