A RESIDENTIAL road was in lockdown and residents were evacuated yesterday after ‘chemical substances and suspicious items’ were found in a property.

Bomb disposal teams, firefighters and police officers were called to a home in Wimborne in the early hours.

The emergency service and armed force response concerned an address in Hayes Close after a concern for welfare was reported.

Bournemouth Echo:

Police implemented a cordon in Hayes Lane, which prevented all access to the road from members of the public, while properties immediately neighbouring the house at the focus of the incident were evacuated.

A 59-year-old man was taken to hospital for assessment and arrested on suspicion of an offence under the explosive substances act. He continues to assist officers with their inquiries.

The army set up an ordnance disposal truck to lead an investigation.

The cordon has now been reduced to cover the immediate vicinity of the property concerned, and there is "no longer any disruption to the local road network or any local businesses", a Dorset Police spokesperson said. 

A spokesperson from Dorset Police said: “We were called at 3.15am today, Tuesday, to reports of a concern for the welfare of a man at an address in Hayes Close, Wimborne.

Bournemouth Echo:

“Officers attended and discovered the property contained unknown chemical substances and suspicious items.

“We worked closely with colleagues from Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service and the Army’s bomb disposal team to carry out a thorough search of the property.

“As a precaution and to ensure the safety of residents and members of the public, a cordon has been set up.

“At this stage, we are not treating this as a terrorist incident.

"We are confident there is no longer any further risk posed to local residents.

Bournemouth Echo:

“Officers from the local neighbourhood policing team are in the area and can be contacted with any concerns.”

Hayes Lane was closed off at its junction with Wimborne West Road, next to the Shell Garage, for a stretch of around 100m towards Canford Bottom and Middlehill Road.

The police and army operation was based in the road adjacent to the refuelling garage, which was closed off to motorists.

Bournemouth Echo:

Throughout the morning the police presence increased at the scene, including armed officers.

There was also a heightened army involvement towards midday, including members of the explosive ordnance disposal and safety squadron. Uniformed armed service personnel worked at the scene during the day.

A mobile-controlled vehicle appeared to be carrying out investigative work inside the property.

Several police detectives were in attendance.

Two uniformed squadron members were seen leaving an address in Hayes Close with a bag containing investigative items.

At one point, it appeared that some personnel were preparing to wear protective suits to enter the property but they were subsequently stood down.

In Wimborne, a respite centre has been set up by the local authority at the Allendale Centre and the Salvation Army in Church Street is also providing support for displaced residents.