Manchester’s Arndale Centre has been evacuated, with people seen running away screaming and witnesses saying a man was arrested by armed police.
“Security guards and police who were armed shouted at people to get away,” said Sky’s Mike McCarthy, at the scene. “At least 100 people came round the corner – many of them screaming and trying to get away.” Some people fell over in the rush to get away and police with sniffer dogs went inside the shopping centre, said McCarthy. Police said they do not think it was related to the incident at Manchester Arena and the centre has now reopened.
Image: Some people were in tears as the shopping centre was evacuated
The evacuation happened around 12 hours after a bomb attack killed 22 people at a concert at the arena.1 :: Live updates – Manchester attack2 Extra armed police are on UK streets after the attack, with a high state of alert seeing a suspicious item blown up in Manchester in the early hours.
Image: People leave the Arndale Centre after it was evacuated
A controlled explosion took place just after 1.30am in Cathedral Gardens, near the site of the attack, but it later turned out to be a pile of abandoned clothing.
:: Security services think they know who bomber is3 Another suspicious item sparked an evacuation of London’s Victoria coach station around 6.40am. Passengers were moved to the end of the street as the area was cordoned off and buses diverted . However, the alert was called off shortly after 8am.
Image: Cars arriving at Manchester United’s training ground were also searched
Manchester United players arriving at the team’s Carrington training ground have also had their cars searched. Security staff used mirrors to check underneath vehicles and opened up the boots. The team are getting set for Wednesday’s Europa League final against Ajax in Stockholm.
A “mix of armed and unarmed officers” were called up for the rush hour in London, with Met Police chief Cressida Dick saying they would “continue for as long as is needed”. Police Scotland said more armed officers would be at “transport hubs and crowded places”. Policing in crowded places is also being reviewed in the West Midlands, Norfolk, Suffolk, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Essex. Extra armed officers were called up in London and other cities after the Westminster attack in March and the Berlin attack in December. The threat from international terrorism in the UK remains “severe” – as it has been since August 2014 – meaning an attack is highly likely.
- ^ bomb attack killed 22 people at a concert at the arena. (news.sky.com)
- ^ Live updates – Manchester attack (news.sky.com)
- ^ Security services think they know who bomber is (news.sky.com)
- ^ Manchester Arena witness: ‘It was absolute carnage’ (news.sky.com)
Two thieves involved in attacking a security guard and brandishing a large kitchen knife outside a store, were later caught when staff recognised them on Facebook, a court heard. Ben Rowland punched the victim so hard it knocked him to the ground and caused multiple fractures to his eye socket. Co-accused, Luke Parker, then frightened other members of staff, causing them to flee by waving a large kitchen knife at them, Leicester Crown Court1 was told.
Rowland (27), of Alpine Drive, Thurmaston, Leicester, was jailed for a total of two years.
He admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm on July 1. Read more: Man found dead in grounds of Leicester Royal Infirmary
2 Parker (25), of Manor Road, East Leake, who admitted possessing an offensive weapon, was given a two year jail sentence, suspended for two years, with 150 hours of unpaid work and was told to pay 1,000 court costs.
‘He punched him hard to the face, knocking him over’
James Bide-Thomas, prosecuting, said the defendants were attempting to leave the store, after Parker concealed the whisky down his trousers. Parker became aggressive when security staff attempted to detain him but he ran out of another exit and was seen to put something in the back of a car, which was driven a short distance.
Mr Bide-Thomas said: “Parker and Rowland walked after the car and a security guard took hold of Rowland who punched him hard to the face, knocking him over and causing pain and a nosebleed.” Read more: Police seize cannabis plants from house in West End, Leicester4 The guard suffered multiple fractures to his orbital bone.
He was treated in hospital and had to take time off work.
‘He waved a knife at other members of staff’
Mr Bide-Thomas said: “Parker intervened to assist Rowland and produced a large carving knife, about 12 inches long, and waved it at other members of staff, who were afraid they were about to be hurt and retreated into the store. “Both defendants were later identified by staff using Facebook.” Rowland, who appeared in court via a live video link from HMP Leicester, also admitted common assault upon three women at a house party he was refused entry to, in March last year, and accepted the offending put him in breach of a suspended sentence for an earlier theft.
‘You’ve been habitually violent’
Judge Nicholas Dean QC told Rowland: “You assaulted a security guard when he was carrying out public responsibilities, stolen from Tesco with Parker. “You’ve been habitually violent in the past and your record is very poor. “You have difficulty controlling your temper even when provoked in a relatively mild way.
“I’ve read a letter from your partner which shows there’s another side to you. Sentencing Parker, the judge said he recognised that he had moved to a different area to escape negative influences, had put offending behind him and was settled into full-time employment. Read more: Man bludgeoned in hammer attack tells of ‘calculated cruelty’ which nearly killed him6
He said because of Parker’s recent progress he would suspended the sentence in his case.
In mitigation, defence counsel said both men now displayed a greater level of maturity and intended keeping out of future trouble.
- ^ Leicester Crown Court (www.leicestermercury.co.uk)
- ^ Man found dead in grounds of Leicester Royal Infirmary (www.leicestermercury.co.uk)
- ^ Loughborough (www.leicestermercury.co.uk)
- ^ Police seize cannabis plants from house in West End, Leicester (www.leicestermercury.co.uk)
- ^ ‘Callous’ burglar stole from two elderly women – aged 96 and 87 (www.leicestermercury.co.uk)
- ^ Man bludgeoned in hammer attack tells of ‘calculated cruelty’ which nearly killed him (www.leicestermercury.co.uk)
There will be a full road closure in place tomorrow afternoon as security measures are stepped up for the Gloucester Rugby game. Kingsholm Road will be completely closed from 3pm, and kick off is at 4pm. The Cherry and Whites1 will be playing the Exeter Chiefs in the last match of the season.
With less than 100 tickets remaining in the Shed, it’s expected to be a busy game.
And there will be increased security measures in place. Police to Twitter to remind people that Kingsholm Road will be shut from 3pm. Those using the Park and Ride service are advised that this service will drop supporters in Worcester Street by the bridge, to allow the bus to return up Black Dog Way and return to the Park and Rude point.
- ^ The Cherry and Whites (www.gloucesterrugby.co.uk)
- ^ As it happened: Conservatives take comprehensive win on dark night for Labour (www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk)