Two military grenades and “unidentified chemicals” were discovered by police in the English county of Suffolk, leading to the mass evacuation of more than 60 residential homes, according to reports.
While allegedly carrying out an arrest at a home in the seaside town of Lowestoft late on Sunday, police made the surprising discovery and subsequently issued a statement saying that, “On arrival at the premises, police conducted a search of the property and recovered a quantity of unidentified chemicals and two military grenades inside the premises.”
— Chloe Marie Cullen (@sillybillychloe) 28 July 2019
Reports say that the police officers then set up a 100-metre cordon circling the property before 1pm while the local authorities had to send in an army bomb disposal team to clear the site of any danger. While locals are now returning home, reports suggest that the road where the incident occurred - Fir Lane - remains closed off to drivers.
Without giving away significant details, reports say that a man in his 50s has been arrest on suspicion of possessing a firearm and has been taken for questioning by the police.
— Ivan Humble (@NewDayStarts) 27 November 2014
Lowestoft, which is the most easterly settlement of the UK, grew and developed out of the fishing industry which flourished following the end of the Second World War, however as commercial fishing opportunities in the area have precipitously declined, unemployment rates have spiked, with some locals resorting to a life of crime as a consequence. Yet, the presence of military grenades marks somewhat of a break from business as usual in the small town.
— Mirror Breaking News (@MirrorBreaking_) 28 July 2019
Chloe Marie Cullen, 23, was quoted by the BBC as saying that she was vacated from her flat by the police following the discovery of the grandes and suspicious chemical substances, “I heard lots of sirens then I saw the police walking up the road towards the house, but I stayed calm as they seemed to have it under control. The police told me to pack an overnight bag as there’s a chance we might not be able to get back in this evening.”
The news comes amidst a wider pan-European trend - evoking concern among many - of private citizens accessing military hardware and storing it in their houses. Also this month, Italian police in the city of Turin seized a French-made surface-to-surface missile that had allegedly come from Qatar, along with a rocket launcher, nearly 30 assault rifles, pistols, bayonets and Nazi memorabilia at the house of well-known local football hooligan.