UPDATES: Bomb squad called to L1 John Lewis

The area around Liverpool One John Lewis was cordoned off this morning after a suspicious object was found.

bomb scare john lewis liverpool city centre news

The department store was evacuated after a member of staff called the police at 10am this morning. Four police vans and four police cars turned up at the scene, followed by a Bomb Disposable Squad van.

John_Lewis,_Liverpool_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1135839

The police have yet to confirm that the incident is due to a bomb, but have stated that they are dealing with a ‘suspicious object’. Eyewitnesses say that a small bang was heard in the store after the bomb squad arrived, and a robot was later seen entering the shop to assess the success of a controlled explosion.

Merseyside Police released a statement at about midday saying: “Merseyside Police can confirm that officers are currently dealing with a suspicious object found in the John Lewis department store in Liverpool city centre this morning.”

As of writing, the police have begun removing the barriers around John Lewis, but the department store is still shut.

The incident kickstarted a small social media frenzy, with twitter users sharing their photos of the scene.

https://twitter.com/Barney_/status/736505381367754753

UPDATES: Merseyside Police have just released a statement: “The cordon at John Lewis Liverpool has been lifted.The suspicious item has been found to be safe. Thankyou for your patience and cooperation.”

17:30 – Merseyside police have released a statement this afternoon confirming that the suspicious object was not a bomb but a beeping security tag which had been wrapped in tape to muffle it. The statement said: “Th object has been found to be an electronic security tag which had been malfunctioning and emitting a loud and audible ticking sound.

“It is believed that a staff member had wrapped and taped the tag up to muffle the noise but had not notified colleagues working in the store today of what is was or why it was there.

“When the item was discovered this morning its appearance and souce caused concerns and a staff member alerted emergency services and self-evacuated the store.”