St George's closure: Shoppers evacuated after reports of 'suspicious package'
Officers were called to Preston's busiest shopping centre early this morning and evacuated shoppers following reports of a 'suspicious package'
Barriers were closed for two hours at the shopping centre entrances and shoppers were guided out while retail managers and specialist officers investigated an incident just before 8 am this morning.
It had been reported that a 'suspicious package' had been seen, but after a thorough search, nothing was found.
The indoor mall, off main shopping street Fishergate, was forced to follow protocol and temporarily close as a precautionary measure following communications bosses had received about the incident.
The centre, which boasts 63 different retailers, then reopened its doors two hours later to the public, at 9.45 am, after the investigations had been completed.
A police spokesperson said: "We were called at around 7.50am this morning, September 15, to reports a suspicious package had been seen at St George’s shopping centre in Preston.
"Specialist officers attended and carried out a thorough search of the building, with no suspicious items found.
"The shopping centre was evacuated for a short time but has since reopened.
"We would like to thank people in the area for their patience while the search was carried out."
A spokesperson for the shopping centre said: "There was a security incident this morning and the shopping centre was closed for a short period of time.
"The matter was dealt with swiftly by the centre team and the centre reopened at 9.45 am."