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Home   Medway   News   Article

Bomb scare at Royal Mail delivery office in Chatham days after explosives delivered to Army careers office

15 February 2014
by Chris Hunter

A Royal Mail delivery office in Chatham was at the centre of a bomb scare today after reports of a suspect package.

Staff at the Best Street office called police at 9am to report the parcel and a 100m cordon was set up around the site.

But after the item was examined by a team from the Royal Logistic Corps bomb disposal unit, Kent Police confirmed it was a false alarm.

An MOD bomb disposal team arrives at the Royal Mail sorting office in Chatham

An MOD bomb disposal team arrives at the Royal Mail sorting office in Chatham

It came less than a week after explosives were sent to the Army careers office in Dock Road and another recruitment centre in Canterbury - sparking fears of "Northern Ireland-related terrorism".

Police set up a cordon around the depot, with a patrol car blocking the road. Roads were reopened around two hours later.
 
Witnesses said officers were talking to Royal Mail staff, who are already on high alert after the previous suspect packages, in the street.
Police and bomb disposal teams outside the sorting office

Police and bomb disposal teams outside the Chatham sorting office

An MOD team blocks the road in Chatham

An MOD team blocks the road in Chatham

Best Street in Chatham was closed to traffic

Best Street in Chatham was closed to traffic

Royal Mail and military staff had been told to be extra vigilant after a spate of suspect packages were sent to Army careers offices.
 
And screening procedures for mail to recruitment centres was under review.
 
Kent was at the centre of a major counter-terrorism operation when seven packages - with the devices described as crude but "viable" and having the potential to injure - were sent to Army offices in the south east.
The area outside the Royal Mail sorting office in Chatham is taped off

The area outside the Royal Mail sorting office in Chatham is taped off

Police block access to the depot in Chatham

Police block access to the depot in Chatham

Police talk to Royal Mail workers near the sorting depot

Police talk to Royal Mail workers near the sorting depot

The discovery at Canterbury's Army careers office in St Peter's Street on Thursday came two days after a "basic, but viable explosive device" was found by military recruiters in Chatham.
 
Dissident Irish Republican terrorists are being blamed on the spate, but no specific group has claimed responsibility.
A bomb disposal team at The Brook in Chatham last week. Picture Suzanne Williams

A bomb disposal team at The Brook in Chatham last week. Picture: Suzanne Williams

Prime Minister David Cameron chaired a meeting of the Cobra crisis committee to discuss the government's response to the threats.

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