COUNTY NEWS UPDATE: Grand Hotel reopened after '˜explosive device' scare
The Grand Hotel, in Brighton, has been reopened '˜without anything suspicious being found', according to Sussex Police.
A Sussex Police spokesman said the search of the Grand Hotel ended at 9.15pm on Sunday evening (September 10) and staff and guests had began to re-enter the hotel.
The spokesman added: “Police worked with management at the hotel after an anonymous phone call was received at the hotel at 4.30pm on Sunday, alleging that there was an explosive device there.
“Hotel management decided to evacuate the hotel, a decision supported by the police, and the hotel was swiftly and safely evacuated.
“Thorough searches took place with the assistance of specially trained police search advisers, local officers, police dogs, and military ordnance disposal experts, in order to establish as soon as possible whether or not the call was a genuine one.
“Nothing untoward was found and the call is being regarded as a hoax.
“The adjacent Brighton Centre was evacuated as part of the precautions because it has an adjoining wall with the hotel, but the call did not threaten the Centre.
“Road closures and closures of adjacent car parks are being withdrawn.”
The Trade Union Congress (TUC) – which is holding a conference at the Brighton Centre from today until September 13 – also confirmed the Grand Hotel re-opening on Twitter: “Grand reopened now, thanks everyone for bearing with us, see you tomorrow at #TUC17.”
Churchill Square car park had originally been closed for the evening but a spokesman later confirmed on Twitter: “We are pleased to announce our car park has now reopened.”
Chief Superintendent Lisa Bell said; “It was important that this report was thoroughly looked into, and we are grateful for the patience and understanding of staff, guests, and people using the nearby car parks, whose afternoon and evening was disrupted.
“A comprehensive criminal investigation is underway to trace the person responsible for the call. We are not disclosing any details of the call, but certain lines of enquiry are being actively followed.”