Town centre homes and businesses evacuated as bomb disposal unit called to deal with donation left in charity bag.
A suspicious device discovered in a donation bag left at a Bideford charity shop was not dangerous, police have now said.
Much of Mill Street, Cooper Street and Bridgeland Street was closed this afternoon (Wednesday) after staff at the Children’s Hospice South West charity shop raised the alarm at around 2.20pm.
Police said the device was discovered in what was believed to be a book.
A 100-metre cordon was put in place and around 30 adjoining shops and properties were evacuated as a precaution.
A Royal Navy bomb disposal unit (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) arrived shortly after 6pm and the scene was declared safe at around 6.30pm.
Superintendent Toby Davies said the EOD unit had confirmed that the device was not viable and had now been disposed of.
“The device was not dangerous and no member of the public was put at risk,” he said.
“Plans were put in place as a precaution and the residents were returned home as soon as possible.
“We would like to thank the MOD for their assistance and the public for their patience while we established what we were dealing with.”
Mayor of Bideford Dermot McGeough thanked the emergencies for keeping the public safe.
Mr McGeough even handed out tea and coffee to those evacuated and members of the emergency services.