Kettering man cautioned after causing chaos in Wellingborough by dumping fake bomb in bin

The fake bomb was left in a Wellingborough town centre bin and caused businesses to be evacuated
The fake bomb was left in a Wellingborough town centre bin and caused businesses to be evacuated

A 28-year-old-man responsible for shutting down Wellingborough town centre after dumping a fake bomb in a bin has been cautioned by police.

The mock 'suicide belt' had a mobile phone and wires attached to it and was part of a fancy dress costume.

The scene on Sunday. Picture by Jack Pinnock.

The scene on Sunday. Picture by Jack Pinnock.

It was left in a bin in Market Street by the Kettering reveller.

Emergency services were called at about 9.30am yesterday (Sunday, December 9), when the package was spotted by a council worker as the bins were being emptied.

Chief Superintendent Mick Stamper added: “The man dressed up in a costume with a fake explosive attached to his body believing it was OK because he was going to a private function. It was not OK.

"Even if he had stayed at the function, it is still an offence to dress up in any way that would either intentionally put people in fear of violence or that would be perceived as racially or religiously aggravated – such offences can be committed anywhere other than a private dwelling.

“This man now has police record simply because he didn’t think through his actions.

"With the busy festive party season in full swing, people will be in out on the town, enjoying a drink and in high spirits.

"We want everyone to have fun and enjoy their night out but would urge them to please consider the potential consequences of their actions, whatever they might be, and don’t spoil an otherwise happy Christmas.”

The discovery of the fake explosive caused a town centre lockdown that saw a 100-metre cordon put in place and the Swansgate Centre and other businesses evacuated as a precaution.

The RAF Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit carried out a controlled explosion on the item.

The 28-year-old was given a conditional caution for a public order offence and will complete community service of 40 hours litter-picking in Wellingborough and will pay compensation of £500 to Wellingborough Council.

He was interviewed under caution by officers earlier today and he admitted to wearing and disposing of a package that had the appearance of an explosive device.

Chief Superintendent Stamper said: “The actions of this individual were highly irresponsible and resulted in huge disruption, inconvenience and concern to local people, shoppers and businesses on a busy Sunday morning.

“Any report of this nature has to be taken extremely seriously and the response to it required extensive resources from all the emergency services, as well as the deployment of specialist military explosives experts.

“As a result, the town centre had to be closed for several hours, not only causing severe disruption but also preventing many town centre businesses from trading during a busy Christmas shopping weekend, no doubt resulting in significant loss of sales.

“The man who disposed of the item in such an irresponsible way came forward to police voluntarily and has shown genuine remorse and a desire to recompense the situation.

"This has been taken into account in deciding the most appropriate resolution and, as such, he has been issued with a conditional caution for an offence under Section 4 of the Public Order Act 1986.”