Hoax bomb call at Peterborough passport office an hour after John Lewis was evacuated. The incidents are not being linked

Hoax bomb call at the passport office in Peterborough comes an hour after John Lewis in Queensgate i

Hoax bomb call at the passport office in Peterborough comes an hour after John Lewis in Queensgate is evacuated in Peterborough. The incidents are not being linked. - Credit: Archant

Staff were evacuated after there was a bomb hoax at the passport office in Peterborough.

The hoax call came around an hour after John Lewis was evacuated in Queensgate shopping centre when a member of staff reported seeing a suspicious bag inside the department store.

The incidents are not being linked.

A man has been arrested for the passport office incident.

A Cambridgeshire Police spokesman said that they were called at around 12pm to reports of a suspicious incident at the passport office in Peterborough.

They said: “Staff were evacuated as a precaution.

“Officers attended and a man has been arrested on suspicion of making a bomb hoax.”

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At 10.50am part of Queensgate Shopping Centre in Peterborough was evacuated for around an hour.

Officers attended the scene and set up a 100metre cordon around the area.

But after carrying out checks and ascertaining there was nothing dangerous about a bag that had been left, they have started to allow staff back into the centre.

Meanwhile the county’s police force have announced there will be an increased visible police presence across the county today following the terror attack in London.

Police are asking the public to be alert, but not alarmed, and to report any suspicious behaviour or activity.

The threat to the UK from international terrorism remains at “severe”, meaning an attack is highly likely.

Chief Constable Alec Wood said: “Our thoughts are with the victims and families of those who have lost loved ones following the truly horrendous attacks in London.

“Our colleagues in the Metropolitan Police and emergency services have done a brilliant job in responding to these attacks and we are thinking of them all at this time.

“There will be a heightened visible policing presence across key locations in the county today and I would like to reassure the public that we remain dedicated to keeping people safe.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite said: “Another appalling terrorist attack has taken place in London and our thoughts and prayers are with all of those who are affected by this atrocity.

“Cambridgeshire Constabulary works closely with regional and national agencies to ensure we are as safe as we possibly can be. Following the Manchester attack there has been an increased presence of armed policing at our key tourist sites and an increased presence at all major events across the county.

“I will be talking to the Chief Constable today to be assured that the constabulary will continue with the additional patrolling. I will ensure that all resources necessary are made available to the constabulary at this difficult time.

“As far as I am aware, there continues to be no threat in Cambridgeshire that we are aware of, but we must all remain vigilant and ensure that if there is something that you see or hear that you are not sure about, that this is reported to the police immediately.

“We must stay calm and go about our daily lives to ensure that terrorism never wins. We are a nation with a big heart with thousands of years of history rooted firmly in our land of freedom and democracy. We stand together defiant and ever resilient as one nation.”

“While there remains no specific threat to Cambridgeshire and Peterborough we will continue to monitor the situation and ensure our streets are kept safe.

“We are united in grief and will stand together to show that these barbaric acts will not weaken our communities but will strengthen them.”

The force will join in a national minute’s silence tomorrow at 11am.

• Report suspicious behaviour or activity to police, in confidence, on 0800 789 321 or gov.uk/ACT or in an emergency the public should always call 999.