UPDATE: ‘I think everyone has been astonished’... reaction as bomb squad called to village

Police have cordoned off Lintot Square. Photo by Sarah Overton Z3XBwOMvTVfrHOE6XTts
Police have cordoned off Lintot Square. Photo by Sarah Overton Z3XBwOMvTVfrHOE6XTts

Traders have told of their ‘astonishment’ after a village square was evacuated due to a suspected explosive device.

Police have cordoned off Lintot Square in Southwater after finding a device near a flat in Fairbank Road earlier this morning (February 15).

Multiple shops and homes have been evacuated including The Little Teahouse where Caitlin Smith was working at the time.

She said: “The police had been round since early this morning and a police officer came in and said they had found an article and they needed to get everyone out of the shop. Everyone had to drop everything really.

“The vets have had to evacuate all their animals and practically everyone from Dominos down has had to be evacuated.”

She praised the police for their response and how they had handled the situation.

“I think everyone has been astonished and the police have dealt with it very well,” she added.

“The main thing is everyone has got out safely.”

Meanwhile Stems Florist and The Lintot pub also remain open.

Pub manager Olivia Scott said: “We still have our regular lunchtime trade.”

Simon Ianson, manager of the nearby Co-op, added the store was also still open “but there is a police cordon in front of the shop.”

The bomb squad is still at the scene and the council is urging people to stay away from Lintot Square.