A fake suicide vest has been discovered in the city centre
Police are now warning against ‘terrorism related pranks’
A terror alert was sparked when a suicide vest was found in Sheffield city centre.
Officers were called to Furnival Gate at 12.11pm on November 19th, after a member of the public found what resembled a suicide vest hanging on some nearby railings.
After checking the item, police confirmed that it was simply a home-made replica, and contained no explosives or dangerous parts.
Despite this incident being a false alarm, police are now warning people to be vigilant about terrorism pranks.
Detective Chief Inspector Whittaker said: “While the item was quickly determined to be a hoax, given the recent events in Paris, this clearly had the potential to cause widespread distress and draw a significant policing response.
“Following investigation, I believe this incident was an ill-judged prank, but people must remember the very real dangers of this type of behaviour.”
“If someone had been seen with the vest the policing response would have, in all probability, involved armed officers and placed the individual in very serious danger.
“Recent events in Paris have brought into sharp focus the type and scale of threat posed by international terrorism, and the relationship between the police and the public needs to be stronger than ever before to counter this threat.
“The member of the public did exactly the right thing in contacting police immediately, but it’s vitally important that policing resources are used to deal with real threats and not foolish pranks.
“People are asked to remain vigilant, and to report anything that could be terrorist-related to specialist officers via the confidential Anti-Terrorist Hotline on: 0800 789 321.
“An investigation is ongoing to establish who left the item and I would ask anyone with information to come forward.”
Anyone who can assist the investigation is asked to contact police via: 101 and quoting incident number 454 from November 19.