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Bournemouth man arrested on suspicion of causing M25 bomb hoax
10:55am Sunday 8th September 2013 in News
A BOURNEMOUTH man has been detained under the Mental Health Act after being arrested on suspicion of causing a bomb hoax at the M25 Dartford Crossing.
Kent Police arrested the 27-year-old on Friday afternoon after he left a coach when it drove through a toll booth at the crossing linking Kent to Essex.
Suspicions were raised when he ran off and hid in an area of rough ground. He was initially detained by security staff at a nearby depot.
Police describe the man as a foreign national from Bournemouth, but have released no other details about him.
During the drama, Kent Police officers removed a sealed bag containing a cylindrical device with protruding wires from the coach, which was travelling from Bournemouth to Poland via Dover.
Bomb disposal experts used a robot to examine the device, while the occupants of the coach were taken to a nearby rest centre to be interviewed.
Police closed the crossing for seven hours to deal with the incident.
Two hours later, another coach – also from Bournemouth on its way to Poland via Dover – was stopped by police after the arrested man allegedly made threats about another device.
Thousands of motorists were held up in the incident, as nine-mile tailbacks stretched along the affected routes.
Assistant Chief Constable Rob Price, of Kent Police, said: “We were dealing with a very challenging situation, with two scenes in extremely busy areas.
“Our main priority was to ensure the safety of the public, our officers and our partners at the scene.
“We had received threats of a very serious nature that required regional and national co-ordination and declared this as a critical incident.”
The occupants of both coaches were later allowed to continue on their journeys.
The Bournemouth man taken into custody is currently under the care of the health authorities.
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