NORTHUMBRIA Police have evacuated homes in South Shields this morning and called the bomb squad after discovering suspicious items.
Officers entered an address on Lake Avenue at 4am on Friday morning after reports that a number of suspicious items had been seen inside the property.
The items were found by officers who then put a cordon in place, evacuated nearby properties and called the bomb squad.
Emergency services remain on the scene and specialists from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team are currently identifying the items in order to dispose of them appropriately.
Residents have spoken of how they woke to find police at the door ordering them to ‘get out straight away’. Some left without any personal belongings, including money.
One woman said residents were given no information as to why they were being asked to leave their homes and some had nowhere to go.
A room at a local leisure centre has now been made available for those evacuated.
A spokesman for South Tyneside Council said: “We are supporting residents who have been evacuated.
“The Waterline Suite in Temple Park Leisure Centre is currently being used as a rest centre for residents who have been moved from their homes and who cannot stay with family members or friends.
“Food and drink will be made available.
“We are liaising with the emergency services and will continue to monitor the situation.”
Northumbria Police said: “There is not believed to be any danger to the wider public but extra patrols remain in the area to carry out enquiries and reassure any concerned residents in the area.”