Princes Street package posed ‘no risk to the public’ in Edinburgh
Five Princes Street shops have been evacuated and the bomb squad called.
Police Scotland and ambulance crews were called to the scene early this afternoon and a cordon was put in place.
The stores closed were: Three, Carphone Warehouse, Halifax, Waterstone’s and Sports Direct.
In a statement the force said: “We received a report of a suspicious package having been received at a business premises on Princes Street at around 12.30pm today.
“The building has been evacuated as a precaution and officers are in attendance to progress inquiries.
We will provide further updates in due course.”
Shortly after 3pm they confirmed the package posed no risk to the public.
A statement read: “Police in Edinburgh received a report of a suspicious package having been delivered to Halifax on Princes Street around 12.30pm on Thursday, March 7.
“The building, and neighbouring properties, were evacuated and a cordon was established as a precaution while the item was assessed by the EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal).
“The package was found to contain clothing, posing no risk to the public. Local businesses and residents are thanked for their co-operation during this time.”
Three police and four ambulance vehicles - including an ambulance incident response unit - had been present.
Eye-witness, crime writer Neil Broadfoot, said: “We were sitting in Waterstone’s having a coffee. We got wind there was something going on. People started moving, staff came up and said they had been told by police they had to evacuate the building.
“We were shepherded outside. There was no sense of panic, we saw the police tape going up and heard the sirens and then the first van arrived.
“That’s all we have been told but given what happened yesterday in London and Glasgow people were obviously concerned.”
The south side of Charlotte Square was cordoned off completely while South Charlotte Street and Lothian Road were also closed.
Princes Street was closed to traffic in both directions. They were all re-opened shortly after 2.30pm.
Tram and bus services in the city centre were affected and huge delays were seen on Queen Street, Shandwick Place and Lothian Road.
Lothian Buses thanked customers for their “patience and understanding”.
Another suspicious package was found this afternoon at the Dumfries campus of Glasgow University.
Yesterday, a package was also discovered at Glasgow University while explosive devices were sent to London transport hubs on Tuesday.