On Friday 21st of February, Police received a call at around 11:30am with reports of a ‘suspicious package’ in Waitrose, Banstead. The South London borough of Banstead has a popular high street at the heart of an affluent town. Therefore, residents and shoppers were shocked and scared to hear the news. I spoke to Abigale Briault an employee at beauty store ‘Superdrug’ who arrived at work to find the scene unfolding. She said “it was quite scary, there were lots of sniffer dogs and police men but no one was really telling us what was going on, I just thought that Banstead is a really nice area how could there be a bomb somewhere like this, everyone was just confused as they didn’t know what was going on, I was waiting for about an hour until I left.”

Police were reluctant to release information on the incident to the gathered public until the details were confirmed which left many to speculate and create angst among those that had been evacuated.  

On the 25th of February information was released stating that a 63-year-old man had been charged with “bomb hoax” after he faked the reports of bombs in 6 London borough’s. One of these hoax's was at Waitrose in Banstead and this news has horrified residents. Epsom and Beddington were two other loactions where the hoax’s occurred. It disrupted trading in these areas as businesses had to close to allow emergency services to investigate which could create financial issues if investigations are ongoing. It also left homeowners worried as to whether their belongings and properties were safe.

Ultimately, a lot of the emergency services’ time has been wasted in the past week and residents have been subjected to terror as they fear for not only for their possessions but also their lives in an age where bombing threats are not always empty.