Police probe launched after suspicious package found in Seaham Wetherspoons pub is declared a hoax
A police probe has been launched after a bomb scare in a Seaham pub was found to be a hoax.
Church Street was sealed off by police and the bomb disposal squad called out following the discovery of a suspicious package in the Wetherspoons pub The Hat And Feathers on Friday night (November 19).
The pub and surrounding area was evacuated for several hours as a precaution while the package was examined.
Durham Police later confirmed it did not contain live explosives and said it was a hoax.
The force says residents may notice an increased police presence in the area while enquiries are made.
Emergency services attended after police received a report of a suspicious package being found in the pub at about 8.50pm.
It was deemed necessary to evacuate the area while enquiries were carried out.
Colleagues from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal team attended and concluded that the item was not a live explosive.
An onlooker told the Echo: “The whole bar and street had be evacuated, all the emergency services were out including bomb disposal, fire brigade, CID.
"They used barriers for a Christmas tree to close the whole street off.”
A cordon remained in place until around 4.30am on Saturday. Police thanked those affected for their patience and cooperation.
Inspector Gary Smith said: “An investigation into the origins of the item has now been launched, and residents may notice increased police activity in the area while enquiries are made.
“I’d like to reassure the community that this was a hoax, and there is no risk to the public.”
A police car could still be seen parked outside the pub on Saturday morning.
But an investigation is to be carried out and anyone with information is urged to get in touch.
Rail services between Middlesbrough and Newcastle were also disrupted during the incident.
The scare comes just days after the UK’s terror threat level was raised from substantial to severe in the wake of the terror related explosion outside Liverpool Women’s hospital on Remembrance Sunday.
Anyone with information about the Church Street incident is asked to contact police quoting reference number 439 of November 19.