Northamptonshire Police have advised anyone disposing of school play props to do so "responsibly", after a discarded piece of theatrical material caused a major bomb alert.
According to the plods' own report, a "suspicious package" found this morning in Kingsthorpe was later downgraded to unsuspicious status, but not before it had provoked "an evacuation of the immediate area", a traffic diversion and the intervention of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal squad.
Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Blatchly explained: "These steps were taken as a precautionary measure and following a small controlled explosion, we can confirm that the device found was not a bomb.
"We have established that the device was in fact made for a school play and later disposed of."
He added: "I would like to stress the importance of disposing of such items in a responsible manner. Thankfully in this case the package was not an explosive device, however, we need to take any reports seriously and as such this incidents has resulted in the use of extensive resources, including police, fire and rescue, ambulance, regional Counter Terrorism Unit, emergency planning, and Highways."
Just to make absolutely certain that organisers of school plays got the message regarding responsible disposal, Blatchly concluded: "The evacuation and diversions have caused significant disruption, and I would urge anyone who is disposing of unwanted props to do so responsibly." ®
Thanks to Adam Bushell for the tip-off.