Revealed: How often bomb disposal teams have been called to Norfolk and Suffolk

A British Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team from Colchester did a controlled explosion aft

A British Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team from Colchester did a controlled explosion after investigating the mortar round found on the beach at Mundesley. Picture: Bacton Coastguard - Credit: Archant

Bomb disposal specialists have been called out to Norfolk and Suffolk more than 290 times over the past three years, figures have revealed.

The Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team, based at Colchester,  has called to safely deal with devices including almost 60 mortars, more than 70 grenades and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) almost 300 times since the start of 2018 and the end of 2020. 

In 2018, the experts were called to the 86 incidents in Norfolk and Suffolk, increasing to 101 in 2019 and 108 in 2020.

The data, revealed through a Freedom of Information request to the Ministry of Defence (MOD) shows devices including flares, Second World War explosives and hazardous materials were dealt with across both counties.

In North Norfolk, experts were called to the area's coastline on a number of occasions to tackle devices including flares, mortars and ammunition which had washed up on the beach.

On June 28, 2020, the bomb disposal team was called to Mundesley, after a suspected explosive was discovered washed up on the beach. After cordoning off the area of the beach where the device was found, the bomb disposal team identified it as a 2-inch Second World War smoke mortar, and the device was safely detonated at the scene. 

The mortar round found on the beach at Mundesley. Picture: Bacton Coastguard

The mortar round found on the beach at Mundesley. Picture: Bacton Coastguard - Credit: Archant

An Army spokesperson, said: "In support of the emergency services, the military provides an explosive ordnance disposal capability in the United Kingdom 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.

"Teams from the Army's 29 Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Search Group are based across the country, with Royal Navy diver teams handling incidents at sea. 

A bomb disposal team was called after a fisherman found ammunition in a river off Thornham Road, Met

A bomb disposal team was called after a fisherman found ammunition in a river off Thornham Road, Methwold. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary - Credit: Archant


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"Their role is to respond when the emergency services require specialist explosive expertise, ranging from the recovery and safe disposal of conventional munitions to counter-terrorist bomb disposal. The vast majority of call outs relate to the discovery of historic munitions.

"The military and emergency services work closely together to ensure both the safety of the public and that incidents are handled with the minimum disruption possible.  

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"We would encourage people to contact the emergency services via 999 if they have concerns about any suspect items they find. It is better to be safe than sorry." 

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