Wellington Square re-opens after “suspect package” found

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Parts of central Oxford were closed off by police this morning after a “suspect package” was found outside a building.

The area outside Rewley House, a building at the junction between Wellington Square and St John Street, was closed until 9.15am.

A member of staff at the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages claimed in an email at 8.50am that “there is a suspect package” opposite the building.

“If you have any classes at 41 or 47 Wellington Square you may want to contact your tutor for advice,” she added.

A spokesperson for Thames Valley Police said: “Police were called to Wellington Square at 7.40am this morning (21/2) to reports of a suspicious package being found.”

“Officers attended and it was quickly established the package posed no threat. A cordon, which had been put in place, has been lifted,” she added.

This closure follows a more serious scare around the corner from Rewley House last week, when parts of St Giles were closed off for most of the day after an “IRA-style” suspicious package was delivered to an RAF office.

An eyewitness at this morning’s incident said that a “large crowd” was present. Police and the University Security Services were on duty at the scene.

Students praised the authorities for their handling of the situation. Cherry Jackson, a student at St Peter’s who lives in the area, said they did “a great job”.

“I woke up and went to college, and the streets were cordoned off. The police didn’t give an explanation, but I understand that they’ve got to do that.”

“I don’t know why it was closed, but it was over within two hours. It was done quickly and efficiently, and the police and security forces did a great job,” she said.

Rewley House is part of the University’s Department for Continuing Education, which runs courses for members of the public.