POLICE sealed off a Westbury church last Sunday (Aug 4) while army bomb squad experts investigated a suspicious device buzzing in a wheelie bin.

The police put a cordon around All Saints Church while the device in a bin near the west door was investigated.

A police spokeswoman said: “We received a call just before 11.25am on Sunday to a report of a suspicious beeping noise coming from a wheelie bin near All Saints Church, Westbury.

"Officers attended the scene and EOD were notified. They attended the scene and the noise was found to be a discarded smoke alarm inside the bin. The incident was dealt with by approximately 2.30pm.”

Church warden Beth Thomas was on her way home after two early morning Sunday services at 8am and 9.30pm when she heard a buzzing noise coming from a wheelie bin near the west door.

She said: “I just called the police and they called out the bomb squad. The bin was just making this noise and nobody seemed to know what it was. Nobody knew whether it was a bomb or not - we just needed to take the necessary precautions.

"It was all over by 3pm. It was just a strange incident really but these days you don’t want to take any chances.

“It’s a storm in a teacup but it was very reassuring that the police told me I had done the right thing. The church is a Grade 1 listed building and we don’t want anything to happen to it.”

Officers from 721 Squadron Tidworth Troop from 11 Explosive Ordinance Disposal Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps, were called out to the incident.

Wearing EOD protective suits, they used a CUTLASS robotic vehicle to turn over the wheelie bin and scatter its contents – only to discover the buzzing was coming from a discarded smoke alarm with a failing battery.

Army spokeswoman Tammy Dixon said: "The Troop were in attendance for approximately two hours. The object found was inert and was not retained by the Troop for disposal."