Bomb hoax almost sparked evacuation

DETAILS have emerged of how close a bomb hoax was to sparking the evacuation of nearly a quarter of a million people from the Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival.

DETAILS have emerged of how close a bomb hoax was to sparking the evacuation of nearly a quarter of a million people from the Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival.

As unsuspecting spectators marvelled at the air displays high above the seafront, a major police operation was in full swing following a call to say there was a bomb on the beach.

Supt Ian Sidney, in charge of police operations, was forced to make a rapid decision about the validity of the call and whether to abandon the show and face the logistic nightmare and dangers of evacuating 225,000 people from the seafront.

Investigations subsequently established the identity of the hoaxer and police were satisfied the bomb threat, made on Friday, July 25, was not real.


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Details of the dramatic police operation emerged after a 17-year-old was given a 12-month custodial sentence for making the hoax call.

Paul Bayfield, managing director of the Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival, said: “The time between getting the original call and the call to tell me they had made an arrest, seemed like a lifetime.

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“It was very frightening to think that somebody could consider doing something like that at our family event.”

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