Two men from Leeds have been charged over terrorism hoax calls which occurred last year resulting in a North Yorkshire town being locked down by armed police.
The centre of Knaresborough was cordoned off by armed police on the 16th October after they received a number of phone calls reporting an ‘immediate threat to members of the public’ at the Paragon Pizza takeaway in High Street.
Dozens of officers, armed with submachine guns and baton round launchers arrived at the scene to detain two staff members outside the establishment, whilst a third was arrested moments later.
After a search of the premises and the individuals, the report was labelled as a ‘cruel prank’ which had been targeted at the completely innocent owner and his staff.
A spokeswoman for North Yorkshire Police said a 23-year-old man from the Chapeltown area of Leeds was charged earlier this week with three offences of communicating a bomb hoax, whilst a 22-year-old man, also from the Chapeltown area, was charged with perverting the course of justice and making a false statement to obtain insurance.
Speaking about the way the North Yorkshire Police addressed the situation, a statement on the authority’s behalf, released soon after the incident, read: “…Our prime concern during the incident was to ensure the safety of members of the public. As a result, we ensured a rapid police response to the town centre.”
Both men, being charged with the case, are due to appear at Harrogate Magistrates’ Court in June.