Grimethorpe evacuation: Second arrest after 'suspicious items' found

The army's Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team at the scene in Grimethorpe, Barnsley
The army's Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team at the scene in Grimethorpe, Barnsley [BBC/Oli Constable]

Police investigating the discovery of "suspicious items" at a property in Barnsley have made a second arrest.

Occupants of around 130 homes on Brierley Road in Grimethorpe were evacuated after items were found shortly after 07:00 BST on Wednesday.

The cordon area has since been reduced to 60m, which will remain in place for 72 hours, South Yorkshire Police said.

A 58-year-old man and a 57-year-old woman have been arrested on suspicion of offences under the Firearms Act.

Both remained in custody, police said.

The Army's bomb disposal team were at the scene on Wednesday, joined by the Military Ordnance Disposal (MOD) team.

A rest centre has been set up by Barnsley Council at the nearby St Luke's Church for evacuees with nowhere else to go.

Police at the scene in Grimethorpe
Police officers searched the property on Wednesday morning [BBC/Oli Constable]

Assistant Ch Con David Hartley said public safety remained a "top priority".

"We are working together with our partners to build up a full picture of the circumstances surrounding this incident and the suspicious items which have been found," he said.

"This could take some time and we remain grateful to the public for their cooperation, patience and understanding as we carry out this critical work."

Earlier, local resident Lee Crisp said he was unable to leave for work on Wednesday morning because of the police cordon.

"As you can see there is the bomb disposal team at the bottom of the street - no way we are getting off," he told the BBC.

"It's having an impact - I'm losing out on money, overtime as well."

Sandra Buckingham encountered a similar issue when she tried to leave the estate to go to hospital.

She said: "I've been told all the estate's cordoned off. I've gone up, but everywhere is a cul-de-sac.

"I live on the other side and I took my son to work, and when I came home, I've had to park up here."

Coun Sir Steve Houghton, Leader of Barnsley Council, said: "We're working closely with our colleagues at South Yorkshire Police, and we have staff out in the area supporting their response.

"I urge local people to follow the advice from the police and keep them and their families safe."

Police said no local schools were affected by the cordon and that pupils at Milefield Primary, Ladywood Primary and Outwood Academy could be picked up by their parents as usual.

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