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Homes evacuated and roads closed after man arrested for explosives offences

An Explosive Ordnance Disposal team at the scene (Picture: PA)

Homes have been evacuated and surrounding roads closed after a man was arrested on suspicion of explosives offences in Derbyshire.

Police rushed to an address in Belper shortly after 6pm on Friday following reports raising concerns for the safety of a man.

Derbyshire Constabulary said officers found a number of ‘suspicious items’ during a search.

An Explosive Ordnance Disposal team has drawn a 100-metre cordon around the property – and houses within the zone, which include Acorn Way, Acorn Drive, Swinney Lane and Swinney Bank, have been evacuated.

Officers said the Strutt Centre in Derby Road will act as a rest centre for evacuated people.

One resident, who was at the Thorn Tree Inn pub – which sits on the edge of the police cordon, said: ‘From what I can gather, the police have been knocking on the houses, advising people to leave. They’ve not forced them but advised them to go out.

‘They’ve told them they’ll ring when it’s safe to return and they’re opening up the Strutt Community Centre for people who live in that area to go to tonight.’

She added that at least three evacuated residents had taken shelter at the pub.

A police cordon at the scene (Picture: PA)
Officers had attended an address on Friday evening (Picture: PA)

A spokesperson from the Strutt Centre said volunteers from Derbyshire County Council opened the building as a rest centre on Saturday and that residents who are unable to access their homes can go there for shelter and refreshments.

She said a few people have already arrived, adding: ‘The county council with all their emergency planning team and all their volunteers are here and it’s a warm space where they can have drinks and things like that and just see what happens bit-by-bit.’

A police spokesperson said: ‘As a result of the cordon Acorn Drive is closed at its junction with Mill Street and Swinney Lane is closed between its junction with Mill Street and just after the junction with Swinney Bank.

‘At this time there is no indication as to how long the evacuation and road closures will be in place – and we will update our channels as soon as further information is available.’

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