Call-outs keep­ing bomb squads busy

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - NEWS - BY JAMIE HALL

Armed forces bomb squads were scram­bled to the north and north­east 84 times in three years, new fig­ures show.

The Ex­plo­sive Ord­nance Dis­posal (EOD) units typ­i­cally re­sponds when peo­ple find sus­pi­cious de­vices washed up on the beach, along the coast, or when peo­ple find items of con­cern in build­ings.

De­vices dis­cov­ered in­clude land mines, mor­tars and grenades, shells, gas can­is­ters and bird scar­ers.

De­pend­ing on the type of de­vice found and its lo­ca­tion, sit­u­a­tions could be dealt with by Army, Navy or RAF EOD teams.

Fig­ures re­veal the ex­plo­sive de­vice ex­perts

“It is about who is best equipped to keep peo­ple safe”

came to the north-east to dis­pose of de­vices 39 times be­tween April 2016 and March this year.

The largest num­ber of in­ci­dents, 11, were in Aberdeen, while there were three re­sponses to Keith and two vis­its to Lossiemout­h, Huntly, In­sch, In­verurie and Col­lieston.

There were 45 in­ci­dents in the High­lands and is­lands.

A spokes­woman for the Min­istry of De­fence said: “The RAF would deal with an air-dropped mu­ni­tion while the Navy would take on de­vices found be­low the wa­ter line. The Army unit would deal with things like tank shells.

“It is re­ally all about who is best equipped to keep peo­ple safe.”

North-east politi­cians paid trib­ute to the teams reg­u­larly deal­ing with po­ten­tially ex­plo­sive de­vices,.

Lib­eral Demo­crat MSP Mike Rum­bles said: “We should be very grate­ful to the men and women who are pre­pared to put them­selves in dan­ger on our be­half.”

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