MP calls for emergency procedures review after Victoria Centre bomb scare

Chris Leslie, Victoria centre

An MP says there should be a review of emergency procedures following Sunday’s bomb scare at the Victoria Centre.

MP for Nottingham East Chris Leslie said he was worried about communication between 999 teams, centre owners Intu, and residents of the Victoria Centre flats.

The comments come after the centre was evacuated on Sunday morning following a bomb scare, which turned out to have been caused by two abandoned suitcases.

The MP said emergency services need to come together to prepare for similar emergencies that could happen in the future.

This is a wake up call, we need a thorough review of procedures

He added: “[The Victoria Centre] is one of the most complicated buildings in Nottingham, you can see it from miles around.

“I think this has got to be an opportunity not to just let this pass and shrug it off, but actually see that this is a wake up call, this is an important building, with lots of people who need better attention to their safety.

“There was a lot of confusion and that is why we need a pretty thorough review of all the safety procedures.”

Video: Evacuation at intu Victoria Centre (this clip has no sound)

The iconic building includes 450 flats and hundreds of residents on top of Nottingham’s most popular shopping centre.

On Sunday, a bomb disposal robot was deployed inside the shopping centre after two suitcases were found in the upper section of the mall.

At 5pm police announced that the suitcases were safe and contained only clothes and electrical items.

Mr Leslie said: “Thank goodness this was a false alarm on this occasion, heaven knows who was leaving a suitcase full of wires and things causing such disruption, but at least it has made a lot of people realise that the procedures for evacuation need looking at.”

A Notts Police spokesperson said: “Incidents of this nature are often fast-moving and unpredictable and officers will do all they can with the resources and communications channels available to them to help keep those affected informed.

“Following today’s events, as with any incident of this kind, Nottinghamshire Police will review its response in full to understand how the force can continue to improve how it protects the communities it serves in future emergencies.”

Janine Bone, regional centre director, said: “Following reports of an unattended package, the centre was evacuated and Nottinghamshire Police attended the scene. An investigation confirmed it was a false alarm and the centre re-opened as usual. We’re sorry for any disruption caused and we want to thank customers for their patience.


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