Bomb disposal team called to device outside Doncaster council office

A device found outside a council office in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, before being made safe by an Army bomb disposal team was “intended to cause harm”, police said.

Officers were called to Concord House, in Doncaster, at 2am on Wednesday to reports of a suspicious package.

The building, which is about half a mile outside the town centre, is used by Doncaster Council.

A cordon was put around the building, off White Rose Way, until the bomb disposal team made it safe.

A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said the building was empty at the time.

She said some people had been evacuated from surrounding premises but they had all now returned.

“It was intended to cause harm but thankfully it did not,” she said.

Paul Hart, Doncaster Council’s managing director, said: “We take the safety of our staff very seriously and we have arranged for all teams who work in the buildings close to the incident to work from other areas.

“Our other buildings are being checked and managers have been issued with advice on what to do if they become aware of anything suspicious.

“We are continuing to work with the police on this incident and, through our neighbourhoods structure, our teams will be extra vigilant for any suspicious activity.”

A council spokeswoman refused to confirm whether the building was used by the authority’s beleaguered Children’s Services Department which has been at the centre of a storm of controversy.

This has centred on the deaths of seven children known to social services in the town.

Last month Children’s Secretary Ed Balls sent in a new management team to take over the leadership and management of children’s services at the council.

It followed a “thorough diagnostic review” of Doncaster’s child safeguarding services ordered by Children’s Minister Beverley Hughes in January.