UPDATE: ‘Suspicious device’ removed from village square

Deserted Lintot Square in Southwater. Photo by Eddie Mitchell.
Deserted Lintot Square in Southwater. Photo by Eddie Mitchell.

A ‘suspicious device’ found in a property in Southwater has been removed for forensic examination and a safety cordon in the square has been lifted.

Officers were called just before 9am on Friday (February 16) to a flat in Fairbank Road where they found a device which they were concerned may be an explosive, police said.

An 100-metre safety cordon was created around the flat and nearby properties, including some shops, were evacuated.

An employee at The Little Teahouse said they were told by police ‘to drop everything’ and leave the premises.

All the animals at a vets were also evacated from the building.

Police and experts from an explosive ordnance disposal team remained at the scene at 5pm and a rest centre was set up in a leisure centre for evacuated residents.

Police confirmed the device was removed early Friday evening for forensic examination and residents were allowed to return to their homes.

A spokesman said: “Thanks to people in Fairbank Road, Southwater, for patience when we had to set up a safety cordon round a flat after a device was found on Friday morning.

“It was removed early Friday evening for forensic examination.

“No local threat and no suggestion of any terrorism.”

Holly Verry tweeted: “Thanks to the police for being so polite, friendly and helpful this morning.

“Every time I’ve met the Horsham Police they have always behaved impeccably.”

Related stories: SLIDESHOW: Village Square cordoned off due to ‘explosive device’

PHOTOS: Deserted village square following dramatic evacuation

UPDATE: Village square evacuated due to ‘explosive device’