Discovery of live ammunition on riverbank sparks urgent safety warning

PUBLISHED: 15 April 2024

On Friday, 12 April, Colchester city centre wardens discovered 20 rounds of historical live ammunition on the riverbank in Castle Park. The ammunition was safely handed over to Essex Police for disposal.
Following further inspection of the area, a suspected hand grenade was found submerged in the river on Sunday morning. Police were immediately notified and Army bomb disposal experts were called to safely detonate the device in a controlled environment in Lower Castle Park.

It is suspected that these items may have been unearthed by individuals searching for treasure without permission. The discoveries raise serious safety concerns and highlight the risks associated with unauthorised digging along the riverbanks, however, it is important to note that, before they were disturbed, the deeply buried ammunition did not pose a risk to the public.

In response to the incident, Colchester City Council has taken proactive measures by installing signs along the riverbanks to deter unauthorised digging and disturbance. Anyone wishing to use a metal detector or dig on council land should not do so without permission. These activities not only pose a threat to public safety, but also risk causing irreversible damage to the environment and local wildlife.

Councillor David King, Leader of the Council, said: “I am deeply concerned about the recent incidents along our riverbank, but incredibly thankful that no one was hurt.

“The safety of our residents and the preservation of our natural environment are of utmost importance. I urge members of the public to refrain from unauthorised digging and to respect the guidelines in place to protect our cherished green spaces.”

Page last reviewed: 15 April 2024


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