Investigation launched after suspicious item found in abandoned vehicle

Police are investigating after a suspicious item was found in a vehicle on a borough road.

Officers located the abandoned silver Audi A6 on Car Bank Street in Atherton at around 11am on Thursday.

Police incident

Police incident

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While inspecting the vehicle they spotted a suspicious item and called for specialist assistance.

The road was cordoned off for several hours while the bomb disposal team from Greater Manchester Police (GMP) assessed the item.

Several houses in the immediate area had to be evacuated as a precaution while the incident was being dealt with.

The object was then deemed safe to move and both it and the vehicle were taken away for further examination.

The cordon was then lifted.

Investigators are now keen to speak to anyone who may have seen suspicious behaviour around the area of Car Bank Street in the time preceding the police’s arrival.

Detective Inspector Joanne Johnston, of GMP’s Wigan division, said: “I would firstly like to commend the work of our specialist officers at the scene for ensuring there was no risk to the public during the procedure.

“I’d also like to extend my thanks to the local community for their co-operation and I ask them to continue to work with us while we continue to assess the scene in the coming days to try and gather further information.

“While the item is currently being forensically examined by a specialist team, we are now concentrating on our investigation into the circumstances behind the car’s abandonment and the item subsequently found inside of it.

“Initial enquiries suggest the car has been left redundant for at least a few days and we urge anyone who has seen the car or any suspicious behaviour around that area in recent days to come forward with information no matter how insignificant they think it may be.”

Anyone with any information regarding the incident should contact police on 0161 856 5307 quoting incident number 886 of 02/01/2020. Details can also be passed on anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.