Black Country Shopping Centre Evacuated After Suspicious Package Found

The West Cross Shopping Centre on Oldbury Road in Smethwick has been evacuated as a precaution following the discovery of suspicious items at a flat.

Surrounding roads within 100 metres of the shopping centre have also been cordoned off including Marriott Road, Malin Street, West End Avenue, part of Oldbury Road and Narel Sharpe Close.

Officers were called to the property above a shop at around 11.20am after concerns were raised by an ambulance crew who were tending to a patient at the address.

The Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) is carrying out an initial examination of the items. The Army’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit is also currently en route to the scene.

People in the area are advised to follow the instructions of police and other emergency services personnel at the scene and to evacuate only if asked to do so. Force Incident Manager, Chief Inspector Sean Phillips, said: 

"I recognise the impact the evacuation will have on local people and I would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.

“The safety of the public is our primary concern and we’re working closely with our partners to minimise the effect on the community and thank everyone for their understanding and patience.

“We hope to have the area returned to normality as soon as possible."

Drivers and pedestrians are advised to avoid the area to prevent disruption to their journeys.


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