Police criticised after Bus station hoax

Devon police have been criticised for failing to offer any "clear or specific guidance" or even help search a Westcountry bus station when it was threatened in a bomb scare.

Hundreds of passengers were evacuated from Exeter Bus Station after a warning was issued that a "bomb" had been planted.

Statement from Stagecoach:

A Stagecoach spokeswoman said: "We were contacted at around 12.20pm on Wednesday by Devon and Cornwall Police stating that they had received a bomb threat in relation to Exeter Bus Station.

"We take security extremely seriously and, in the absence of any clear or specific guidance from the police officers who attended the scene, we took the sensible precautionary step of evacuating the bus station.

"At no point were we advised not to evacuate the bus station, nor were we at any point told that this was not a credible security threat.

"Following a thorough search of the station property conducted by our own staff without assistance from the police officers in attendance, the bus station was reopened to the public after around 30 minutes.

"We will be requesting a follow-up meeting with the police to discuss our concerns about the manner in which this matter was handled and to pinpoint any lessons that can be learned for the future."

Statement from Devon & Cornwall police:

"Early contact was made with the bus station management, and it quickly became apparent this was not a credible threat.

"Advice was given to the bus station management, as it was not believed an evacuation of the area was necessary.

"The bus station management have then taken the decision to evacuate the station.

"This did cause traffic congestion, but police then worked to restore the situation to normality as quickly as possible."