Village incident update: Rest centre set up as searches continue

Police cordoned off Lintot Square in Southwater
Police cordoned off Lintot Square in Southwater

A rest centre has been set up for residents evacuated from their homes in Southwater after police discovered a ‘suspicious device’ at a property this morning.

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

At 5pm, police said no-one arrests have been made and that officers and explosive ordnance experts remained at the property while searches continued.

A 100-metre safety cordon has been created around the flat with nearby properties, including some shops, evacuated, police said.

A spokesman said: “Those people who have been evacuated are thanked for their patience while the premise is searched and is established to be safe.”

A rest centre has been set up at Southwater Leisure Centre, Pevensey Road, for those affected by the incident, a spokesman from Horsham District Council said.

Warm drinks, sleeping bags and blankets will be provided for those who may need them.

The spokesman said: “If you have been evacuated, please listen to the advice given to you by the emergency services.

“If you have somewhere else to go, for example if you have a relative or family friend you can stay with, tell a Police Officer and follow Sussex Police on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

“Please stay in the area designated by the emergency services.”

The Council’s Emergency Planning Team will be available at the rest centre.

Related stories: VIDEO: Bomb disposal unit tackles ‘explosive device’ in village square

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

PHOTOS: Deserted village square following dramatic evacuation

UPDATE: ‘I think everyone has been astonished’... reaction as bomb squad called to village

UPDATE: Village square evacuated due to ‘explosive device’