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Terror suspect who caused evacuation of 60 homes has police detention extended

PUBLISHED: 09:31 01 August 2019 | UPDATED: 09:39 01 August 2019

A reduced cordon remains in place on Normanshurst Close in Lowestoft on Monday, July 29. PHOTO: Reece Hanson

A reduced cordon remains in place on Normanshurst Close in Lowestoft on Monday, July 29. PHOTO: Reece Hanson

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A 59-year-old man arrested on suspicion of terror offences is to be detained by police until Sunday as enquiries continue.

The scene of the evacuation in Lowestoft. Photo: Mick HowesThe scene of the evacuation in Lowestoft. Photo: Mick Howes

The man, named locally as Clinton Hicks, was arrested by Suffolk Police on suspicion of possessing a firearm at 12.10pm on Sunday, July 28, after a pre-planned warrant was carried out by officers.

Upon the discovery of two military grenades, the firearm, and unidentifiable chemicals, police imposed a 100 metre cordon and evacuated 60 homes, before Met Police Counter Terrorism officers began leading an investigation into possible terror offences.

Mr Hicks was further arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the commission, preparation and instigation of acts of terrorism and was detained under the Terrorism Act.

On Tuesday, July 30, Scotland Yard officers obtained a warrant of further detention for Mr Hicks, which was authorised by Westminster Magistrates' Court, and allows police to detain him until 12.12pm on Sunday, August 4.

After assessment, the grenades were found to be inert, and the firearm is believed to be an imitation.

Met Police Counter Terrorism officers were called to assist the recovery of a quantity of unidentified chemicals, while the 100 metre cordon was lifted on Sunday night.

A smaller cordon remains in place around the property being searched, as well as the three neighbouring homes, with residents unable to return.

With Suffolk Police officers expected to remain on the scene until Friday, the three evacuated households have been offered emergency accommodation by East Suffolk Council, although were able to make alternative arrangements.

Detective chief superintendent Alexis Boon, of the Counter Terrorism Command, said: "After a pre-planned operation by Suffolk Constabulary in which officers arrested a man, we are now leading this investigation, working closely with police in Suffolk.

"Suffolk Constabulary acted quickly to make the area safe, including erecting a cordon around the address as a precautionary measure while enquiries are ongoing, however we have found nothing to suggest an ongoing threat to the public.

"I would like to thank the community for its understanding and patience while officers continue this work.

"Local officers from Suffolk Constabulary Safer Neighbourhood Teams will remain at the scene over the coming days to continue to provide reassurance."

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