Suspect Packages Linked

The hunt is underway for the people behind the fake bomb and store fire that brought Canterbury city centre to a standstill on Friday night.

Police now believe the same people were responsible for both attacks and have promised to track them down and "lock them up".

A member of the public alerted police to the suspicious package near the railway line close to Old Dover Road just after 4pm Friday evening.

Parts of the city centre were sealed-off and trains were cancelled. Later in the evening Army bomb disposal experts arrived at the railway line but found the package was an "elaborate hoax". The 'bomb' was in a rucksack which contained wires and a mobile phone.

An hour after the suspect package was spotted, fire crews were called to a small blaze in Marks and Spencer in St George's Street. Police have now confirmed they found another hoax device there.

Assistant Chief Constable Andy Adams of Kent Police told Heart: "I'm happy that the two incidents must be connected and the reason that I say that - in my 26 years of policing experience I can't remember an incident where we've had one bomb hoax followed by another in quick succession, so I'd be extremely surprised if they were unconnected.

"Our prime focus at this moment in time is to gather every bit of information that we can, identify a suspect or suspects and then do everything we can to lock them up. Bomb hoax is a serious offence and carries a weighty sentence."