Birmingham UK threat was 'real and very credible'

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Birmingham police have re-opened the British city's centre after evacuating 20,000 people from it last night.

The cordon had been largely lifted at 6am BST after the centre was sealed off for most of the night.

Police Chief Constable Paul Scott said on Sunday that "a real and very credible threat" had faced Birmingham, but he declined to be specific about its nature.

However he stressed that the intelligence he had received indicated that the threat had been genuine.

Scott said that the evacuation had been "a proportionate response to the information. We haven't had this level of threat before, the people of Birmingham were in danger last night."

But the Chief Constable also explained that "I do not believe that the incident that we are dealing with this evening is connected with the events of July 7 in London."

Four controlled explosions were carried out on a bus to destroy suspected explosive devices after a call by a member of the public, but later investigations showed that they had been safe.

A further suspicious package at the Travelodge hotel on Broad Street was also declared safe.