AN “ornamental” device sparked a bomb scare this afternoon after it was reported that possible live ammunition had been thrown away at a recycling centre.

A bomb squad from Catterick was called to Albert Hill Industrial Estate in Darlington just after 2pm after reports that a possible live device had been disposed of at Teward Skip Hire and Recycling.

However, a Durham Police spokeswoman said the experts found there was no threat, describing the device as “ornamental”.

She said: “We were called at 2.06pm after reports of a suspicious item at a private recycling centre in Darlington.

“Bomb disposal were called and deemed the item posed no threat.”

The Northern Echo:

Some surrounding roads were closed as a precaution and reopened when officers left the scene at about 3.20pm.

Roz Teward, owner of the company, said: "It was an ornament which unfortunately has been disposed of in a way it shouldn't have.

"It had been diffused but we didn't know that so we had to contact the police and evacuate until it was dealt with. It's safety first at the end of the day."

She added: "Praise to them for coming out and dealing with it in such a quick and efficient manner.

"We want our customers to know we deal with things in a safe way and to take note of the items they can and can't dispose of. 

"Sorry to the other businesses for the disturbance but hopefully they understand we have to put safety first."