Bomb squad drama over fake grenade in Penryn garden
A bomb squad was scrambled to a Penryn street this weekend after reports of an unexploded grenade found in a front garden.
Permarin Road was cordoned off from just after 4pm on Sunday as homes were evacuated and a specialist team from Plymouth was drafted in to deal with the suspected explosive.
After three hours of high drama, however, the “grenade” was found to be a child’s toy and a man was arrested on suspicion of wasting police time.
Ross Shortman, aged 17, was at home when the bomb alert was called in. His house overlooks the garden where the “grenade” was found.
He said: “The police came down and they were having a good old nosey before they shut the road off.
“It was right in front of my living room and they just told us to shut the windows and curtains and go to the back of the house. “I wasn’t really worried at all, but it was all a bit surreal.”
Tracey Bowman, aged 43, lives across the road from where the action was taking place with her partner and three children.
She said their house was evacuated because of fears that any potential explosion might shatter the windows, sending shards of glass flying through the living room.
“First off my partner was told to stay in the house - shut all the windows and close the curtains,” she said.
“But we were asked to leave our house because it [the ‘grenade’] was in the bottom flat across the road.
“It always happens on this road,” she added. Detective Sergeant Dave O’Neill, from Falmouth CID, said that a minimum of eight officers were involved in the operation – not counting the “Explosive Ordinance Team” [EOD] from Plymouth – meaning that upwards of 20 hours of police time were wasted.
He said: “The thing was described as a hand grenade, it was looked at as a hand grenade but when it was actually dug up by the EOD it turned out to be a toy – in actual fact it was half a toy grenade.”
Sgt O’Neill warned that hoax calls and malicious calls are crimes, which are always taken very seriously by the police. Bomb scares in particular waste a lot of time and resources because of the “whole host of things” the police must consider for each incident.
He said: “One little phone call, that might seem funny at the time, is a complete and utter time-consuming wasted operation for everyone who gets involved in it.
“We will always look to prosecute and we will use everything within our means to prosecute hoax calls.”
n – A 45-year-old Penryn man was arrested on Sunday on suspicion of wasting police time.