The town centre has been on lockdown this afternoon after a man walked into the police and council offices in Grove Road and said he had a hand grenade in his van’s glovebox.
A 100-metre cordon was set up around the man’s van and staff at 1 Grove Road, shops and the Town Hall and library were evacuated.
Grove Road had been closed to drivers and pedestrians, but the road has now been opened and the evacuations have been ‘stood down’.
An Eastbourne Police spokesperson said, “At 2.25pm on Thursday (May 2) a man arrived the police office Grove Road, Eastbourne to report that he had brought what appeared to be a World War II hand grenade, which was in the glovebox in his van parked outside and which he had found during a property clearance in Hailsham.
“It is not known whether the grenade is still a viable device. As precaution a cordon was put in place and some buildings immediately adjacent were temporarily evacuated.
“Military EOD will be attending. They have seen photos and have assessed that the cordons and buildings evacuations can be stood down meanwhile.
“This was done at 3.50pm and the van is secured under police control where it is parked.”
An Eastbourne Borough Council spokesperson said on Twitter that its office at 1 Grove Road would remain closed for the rest of the day due to ‘unforeseen circumstances’ – and added in a statement to the Herald, “We apologise for the inconvenience.”
Photo by Dan Jessup.
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