Hunt for Normanton bomb hoaxer continues

Bomb scare in Normanton
Bomb scare in Normanton

A bomb hoaxer who forced a town centre to be locked down is still being hunted by detectives.

A man left a supicious package outside the Co-op supermarket, on West Street, Normanton last Wednesday.

The hoaxer then made an anonymous call to police at around 12.40pm and officers then found the fake device near a shopping trolley at the back of the building, sparking a major four-hour evacuation of the town centre.

Families were evacuated from their homes and businesses deserted as the town centre was shut down.

A 200m cordon was enforced around the Co-op store as police were drafted in from across the district to set up road blocks and escort people to safety.

Sgt Peter Roberts of Normanton neighbourhood police team (NPT) said: “The search for the bomb hoaxer continues. I am pleased to report that CID are actively pursuing lines of enquiry. I am very hopeful of a positive outcome.”

The device was declared “safe” by experts from the Ministry of Defence, but was still exploded by an army bomb disposal team using a a robot.

Eye-witnesses said the package looked like a “carrier bag with wires coming out of it”.

Detectives have examined any evidence which remained and are still trying to trace the man who made the hoax call.

Det Insp Mark Catney, of Wakefield CID, said: “A criminal investigation has been launched and are appealing for witnesses.”

Anyone with any information should call CID on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.