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Brighton Centre and Grand Hotel evacuated following bomb scare

Anonymous phone call deemed a hoax, after thorough police searches find nothing

Pictured: police perform a thorough search of Brighton's Grand Hotel on Sunday 10 September, following a bomb threat (Photo credit: Hugo Michiels/LNP)

A bomb scare led to the Grand Hotel and Brighton Centre being evacuated on Sunday.

The hotel, on Brighton seafront, received an anonymous phone call at 4.30pm on Sunday 10 September, alleging that an explosive device had been planted.

Hotel management decided to evacuate the hotel and thorough searches took place with the assistance of police dogs and military ordnance disposal experts.

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. Nothing untoward was found and the call is being regarded as a hoax.

Chief superintendent Lisa Bell of Sussex police 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."

The TUC Congress 2017 was taking place at Brighton Centre at the time of the evacuation, with many delegates staying at the Grand Hotel.

The hotel was famously bombed in October 1984 during the Conservative party conference, killing five and injuring more than 30 others. Then prime minister Margaret Thatcher narrowly escaped injury in the attack.

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