Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 6°C

Search

Senior Suffolk police officer praises ‘reassuring’ response to RAF Mildenhall disturbance

PUBLISHED: 21:43 18 December 2017 | UPDATED: 09:08 19 December 2017

RAF Mildenhall was on lock down earlier today. Picture: GREGG BROWN

RAF Mildenhall was on lock down earlier today. Picture: GREGG BROWN

The immediate and “reassuring” response to the disturbance at RAF Mildenhall has been praised by a senior Suffolk Constabulary officer.

Matt Hancock MP also praised the response at RAF Mildenhall. Picture: Contributed Matt Hancock MP also praised the response at RAF Mildenhall. Picture: Contributed

A man is being questioned by police after a disturbance at an RAF base during which shots were fired by US service personnel.

The 44-year-old British man was apprehended at RAF Mildenhall and is being held by Suffolk police on suspicion of criminal trespass after the base was forced into lockdown earlier this afternoon.

Superintendent Kim Warner revealed there had been a “short pursuit” of the suspect who allegedly failed to produce identification before driving through the checkpoint.

Speaking to this newspaper at the scene tonight, he said: “It would appear a male fails to provide identification, he is given some instructions which he fails to follow, he then drives through the security area – there is no damage caused to any gates or fences – there is a short pursuit, and then the vehicle is brought to a halt by security services.

Richard Greenfield, Mildenhall Parish Council chairman. Picture: DAVID GARRAD Richard Greenfield, Mildenhall Parish Council chairman. Picture: DAVID GARRAD

“As a result of that pursuit, firearms are deployed by the US security personnel. Any breach of security is a concern but they clearly responded immediately to it. Someone has been apprehended in a very short time. Ministry of Defence police were on the scene very quickly and we were notified as per our protocol very quickly and arrived in good time.

“It was an extremely prompt response from those involved. Everyone is aware of what the international threat from terrorism is, and therefore everyone is at that heightened level of readiness, so when you get anything like this, it is reassuring to know that those plans would appear to be effective.”

He said the vehicle was brought to a halt close to a US plane, an Osprey.

He said patrols will not be stepped up around the base: “It is not terrorist-related. We have got a very long and close-working relationship with the USAF (United States Air Force) in the area. It is tried and tested and I see no reason why we would change our responses.”

Police cars guarded the main entrance as local and national media gathered at the scene and awaited the latest social media updates from authorities. Police had warned people to avoid the area initially, before the scale of the incident later emerged.

Richard Greenfield, chairman of Mildenhall Parish Council, said: “I think there was a bit of panic initially but once it became clear what had happened, it all calmed down. This sort of thing has happened before. It seems it was handled very well.”

West Suffolk MP Matthew Hancock, said: “I have the utmost trust in the professionalism of the servicemen and women at the base to protect us and to defend our national security.”

The countdown to an international cycling spectacular sweeping through the heart of Suffolk in June has stepped up a gear – as a high-profile dignitary swapped her civic chain for a bicycle one.

An Ipswich man allegedly confessed to a friend that he had stabbed father-of-five Dean Stansby but hadn’t meant to kill him, a court has heard.

Schools in Ipswich are among the most under-funded in Suffolk according to new figures obtained by a union-sponsored website.

In 2012 the Woodbridge teenager had just become an internet sensation.

Ipswich Town owner Marcus Evans has given his first-ever interview on camera - and revealed that he plans to appoint a new Blues boss ‘towards the end of May or early in June,’ plus admitted that raising season ticket prices last year was a mistake.

A black tie charity ball is taking place to collect cash for an Ipswich-based baby bereavement support group.

Rail conductor/guards working on Greater Anglia trains have called a second one-day strike in early May – but the company insists passengers will not be affected.

The harshest winter for years is set to cost Suffolk County Council millions of pounds according to a report by officials.

Politicians from across the political spectrum have joined together to recognise the achievements of Aldeburgh born suffragist Dame Millicent Fawcett as a new statue was unveiled in her memory.

If you are desperate for a three-day weekend you will be happy to hear that you don’t have long to wait.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24