Christmas Markets evacuated and shut off by police
There was a security scare
This morning, the Christmas Markets in Albert Square were evacuated.
The markets, outside the Town Hall, were evacuated by the police after a security scare.
A 19-year-old man has been arrested and remains in custody for questioning on suspicion of malicious communication after a suspicious 999 call was received by the police.
The arrested man had allegedly been drinking and had taken a legal high.
A GMP spokesman said: “At 4.50am on Friday 27 November 2015, police received an abandoned 999 call regarding the Christmas Markets in Manchester city centre.
“Later, a man claimed a ‘package’ had been left in the market.”
To ensure there is no threat to the general public, the police have cordoned off the Christmas Markets and officers with sniffer dogs have been seen searching the stalls outside the town hall.
PCSOs are guarding every entrance to the markets and constables have been searching the whole of Albert Square, even using torches to search underneath the wooden huts.
City councillor Pat Karney said: “This stupid, silly person has triggered our full security response and officers are now searching the stalls.
“I hope when he sobers up he realises the mayhem he has caused. We believe it will be business as usual again soon.”
The markets are now in the process of reopening. Chief Superintendent Wasim Chaudhry said: “Based on the nature of information we received, we conducted a thorough search of the area and found nothing suspicious or a threat to the public.
“I understand people may have been frustrated by the closure but I would like to thank them for their patience.”