An army bomb squad was called out to perform a controlled explosion after a suspicious coffee cup device was spotted near a town centre car park and an evacuation was started after the polystyrene cup with microchips taped to it was discovered near a branch of TK Maxx in Stevenage town centre.
Bomb disposal specialists, officers from Hertfordshire Police and firefighters rushed to the scene to deal with the event and blocked off neighbouring roads. Nevertheless, it was later reported the device was not viable with police presently seeking to discover who was accountable for the deception.
A spokeswoman for Hertfordshire Police revealed officers were called to the shopping centre following reports of a suspicious object and specialists from the Explosives Ordnance Disposal unit attended to give a technical assessment which led to a successfully controlled explosion.
The Local Crime Unit has now started an inquiry into this incident and can verify that this was not a viable device, although it gave the impression of being so although the motive behind the placement of the device is still unclear at this stage.
Despite its size, if it had been a viable device it could have had the potential to create severe harm and it’s really distressing that somebody could have thought up such an insidious idea that could have scared so many innocent men, women and children.
Although there could be some sort of comical aspect to all of this and even though we don’t yet know the origins of where this device came from or who even conceived it in the first place, people should, however, be extremely observant when going about their everyday routines.
We can’t wince every time we go out of our front doors or merely look frightened, that would be totally stupid if we froze every time we observed a container or package resting someplace out in the public, or in some supermarket.
It seems like someone was playing a prank, but we can understand why it was taken so seriously and this bomb-scare in Stevenage comes under two weeks following a handmade explosive device was detonated on a tube train in Parsons Green, west London, wounding 30 people.
Police are on high alert following the event, which took place on the District Line service on September 15 and seven people have been detained as part of the inquiry into the assault, but only one person, Ahmed Hassan, 18, has been charged.
Of course, you can never be too cautious, if it had been overlooked and it had been a viable device, then everything could have been a whole lot worse and ultimately, the police will DNA, fingerprint, locate the offender and prosecute for, of course, wasting police time and scaremongering.
Nevertheless, a little common sense is required here, or else every abandoned plastic bag and coffee cup will be reported, however, it’s not stupid to be careful and much better to be alert over things, after all, you can make an explosive out of virtually anything.
We live in a day and age of conflict, it is no longer peace and quiet in our society and this is a threat to us all, and we battle with hostility most of the time and this is our existence, a functioning democracy in a nation of decrepitude.