Councillor writes to MoD over Gress explosive

Photo by Sandie Maciver
Photo by Sandie Maciver

Councillor Donald Crichton has written to the Ministry of Defence asking for confirmation whether or not the device recently found at Gress beach and destroyed in a controlled explosion by the MoD was connected to the military exercise that took place in Broadbay last year.

In a letter to the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Dr Andrew Murrison, MP, the Loch a Tuath Councillor said that if the device was connected with recent military exercises it raised questions about public safety in the future.

Mr Crichton said: “ Thankfully there was no serious threat to public safety on this occasion and every precaution was taken by the Police. However, If this device is connected to the recent exercise, then the incident raises questions about public safety for the future and what precautions are being taken by the MoD/NATO to minimise any risk during and after military exercises in the islands.

The safety of the public is paramount and I would be grateful if you could give assurances that every effort is made to ensure that public safety is not compromised and that all munitions used in those exercises are safely disposed off. The prospect of more devices being found cannot be ruled out so I would be interested to hear what steps are taken following an exercise to ensure the public are not placed at risk.”

Mr Crichton concluded: “ If there are future exercises in the islands the MoD should provide publicity and information to make the public aware of safety precautions and what they are to do if they come across an unidentified suspicious device. Assurances that your department take these matters seriously would be appreciated.”