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Bomb squad conduct controlled explosion after ‘unknown chemicals’ found

PUBLISHED: 17:53 21 October 2020 | UPDATED: 17:58 21 October 2020

A controlled explosion happened at 3pm in Woodbridge after unknown chemicals were discovered in a property in Bridgewood Road.   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

A controlled explosion happened at 3pm in Woodbridge after unknown chemicals were discovered in a property in Bridgewood Road. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

The bomb squad carried out a controlled explosion after unknown chemicals were found at a property in Woodbridge.

Officers at the scene of the controlled explosion in Woodbridge.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNOfficers at the scene of the controlled explosion in Woodbridge. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Around 30 homes were evacuated and a 50-metre cordon was put in place after the discovery by police search teams at the address in Bridgewood Road this morning.

Police said the army’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal team removed the item from the premises, and a loud bang was heard by neighbours around 3pm when the controlled explosion took place on nearby Fen Meadow.

One neighbour in the quiet residential street, who did not want to be named, said she was told to leave her house around 11.30am.

She said: “I suppose it was quite a shock when we were asked to leave our homes, it’s not something you expect to happen here.”

Around 30 homes were evacuated after unknown chemicals were found by search teams at a property in Woodbridge.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNAround 30 homes were evacuated after unknown chemicals were found by search teams at a property in Woodbridge. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

There has been a police presence at the same semi-detached property since the weekend when a warrant was executed by police.

MORE: Gun dealer and son denied bail on illegal firearms charges

Another neighbour, who had lived in Bridgewood Road for around three years and wished to remain anonymous, said: “This is generally a really quiet road.

“It is quite a shock and I’ve got two small children and they keep asking what’s going on.

“There’s been a police presence there 24-7 since the weekend.”

Policed remain outside the property in Bridgewood Road.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNPoliced remain outside the property in Bridgewood Road. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Father and son, Crispen Richards, 58, and Philip Richards, 24, appeared in court on Monday accused of firearms offences.

Both men appeared in custody at Suffolk Magistrates’ Court, via video link from Martlesham Heath police investigation centre, charged with with possession of a disguised firearm – namely a walking stick – and possession of a shortened shotgun.

The pair, of Bridgewood Road, Woodbridge, entered no pleas the charges – the most serious of which – possession of a disguised firearm – can only be dealt with before a judge at crown court.

Registered gun dealer Crispen Richards and his son Philip, a ‘servant’ on the licence, were arrested and taken into custody for questioning following a search of the property on Friday and a licence visit to the same premises the previous day.

A spokesman for Suffolk Constabulary said the cordon was lifted following the controlled explosion and thanked local residents for their patience and understanding while the evacuation took place.


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