The Police’s Bomb Disposal Team dealt with a suspicious object on Saturday afternoon, after the John Lewis department store at Liverpool One was evacuated.
Alarms rang out at just after eleven o’clock, and staff and shoppers were seen exiting the store.
The commotion attracted crowds, and a tense atmosphere developed when police confirmed they were “dealing with a suspicious object”.
However, the Bomb Disposal Team arrived on the scene with vigilance, using sniffer dogs, and later their specialist robotic equipment, to mitigate the risk to customers.
A small bang and some shouting was reportedly heard by eyewitnesses. The incident resolved positively when the police robot exited the store a few minutes before two o’clock.
Merseyside Police issued a statement on Twitter, saying that “the cordon at John Lewis Liverpool has been lifted. The suspicious item has been found to be safe.”
The cordon at John Lewis Liverpool has been lifted.The suspicious item has been found to be safe.Thankyou for your patience and cooperation.
— Merseyside Police (@MerseyPolice) May 28, 2016
The cause of the bomb scare was later found – it was neither an operational explosive device, nor a hoax.
Merseyside Police issued another statement this afternoon, saying that “the object has been found to be an electronic security tag which had been malfunctioning and emitting a loud and audible ticking sound.
“It is believed that a staff member had wrapped and taped the tag up to muffle the noise but had not notified colleagues working in the store today of what it was or why it was there.”
The disturbance took place during one of Liverpool One’s busiest shopping times, and was dubbed a “pain in the bomb” by one passer-by.