Hundreds of shoppers were evacuated on Wednesday morning following a bomb hoax at the Monks Cross Shopping Centre in York. The police said they are now looking for the malicious' hoax caller.
According to police, an alert was raised after it received a call at 10.10 am (local time) of a suspicious object inside the Monks Cross mall.
Following this the North Yorkshire Police deployed "multi agency emergency vehicles" around the Monks Cross area.
The police after over four-hour long extensive swipe at the Monks Cross, which is York's "premier shopping centre," lifted the restrictions.
North Yorkshire police in a statement said that it has reopened the mall to public after the officers "completed searches of the Monks Cross shopping centre in York and [were] satisfied there is no danger posed to the public."
"We are treating the call as malicious and an investigation is underway to find out who was responsible," the police said.
Ian Wilson, who was also having a Coffee at Monks cross when he was evacuated told minsterfm.com, that the police walked in and asked everyone to leave the mall. There was confusion but everybody was calm and the police directed people out of the 'busy shopping centre,' Wilson said.
Another eyewitness said that there was 'a lot of police and ambulance' at the scene.
The police even asked public to avoid the area. Motorists said that due to the ongoing situation at the Monks Cross, vehicle movement was affected between Monks Cross Link and Jockey Lane junctions. (via York Travel @york_travel)
With the police sealing off the popular shopping centre, several shoppers are believed to have been stranded outside the mall as their cars are still in the parking lots.
Earlier in the morning, the Metropolitan Counter Terrorism Command arrested five members of the same family on "suspicion of possessing information likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism."
— Annalise (@AnnaliseShort) August 12, 2015
Stuart Thorpe @stuartowl
Bomb scare at Monks Cross just now. Not an obvious target.
Bomb Scare at Monks Cross shopping park half of the park shut off @yorkpress
Monks Cross shopping center in Yorkshire is being evacuated, police say incident is ongoing
Kat Gare @kathrynGare
@yorkpress what's going on outside monks cross McDonald's? Lots of police and McDonald's and pear tree look like they've been evacuated?!