Man held in hospital security scare re-arrested over suspected terror offence
Wards at St James's Hospital in Leeds were evacuated during the incident on Friday morning
A 27-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of a terror offence after he was allegedly seen with a suspected firearm and a suspicious package at a hospital’s maternity wing.
Counter Terrorism Policing (CTP) North East said wards on the Gledhow wing of St James’s Hospital in Leeds were evacuated after the suspect was detained at around 5am on Friday.
The man was initially arrested on suspicion of firearms and explosives offences, but police later said he was re-arrested on Friday evening under Section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000 on suspicion of being concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.
Army specialists and a bomb disposal unit attended the scene on Friday and a cordon was put in place as a precautionary measure.
Detective Chief Superintendent Jim Dunkerley, the head of Counter Terrorism Policing North East, said: “This is being treated as an isolated incident and there is no evidence to suggest there is any heightened or ongoing risk to the public.”
Police said extensive inquiries are under way to establish the full circumstances of the incident and any potential motivation.
Officers are currently carrying out detailed forensic examinations and a review of the items recovered, including digital media devices.
Searches of a vehicle have concluded, but they continue to be carried out at premises in Leeds.
Some appointments, the walk-in service and visiting at some wards at the hospital had to be stopped during the security scare.
The wing is home to the majority of the hospital’s maternity services, as well as some respiratory and bereavement services.
Superintendent Dan Wood, of West Yorkshire Police, said: “This incident was brought to a safe conclusion by the work of the emergency services, and a man has been arrested in connection with it and remains in custody.
“We are continuing to liaise with our counter-terrorism colleagues as they progress their investigation.
“We recognise that an incident of this nature will cause understandable public concern and we are linking with our partner agencies and key community representatives to reassure them and keep them informed.”
Steve Bush, medical director at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Unfortunately some patient appointments were cancelled as a result of today’s incident and we would like to apologise for the inconvenience caused – these will be rearranged as soon as possible.”Published: by Radio NewsHub