St Albans munitions raid to appear on BBC’s Countryfile tonight

Police and Bomb Disposal teams

Police and Bomb Disposal teams - Credit: Archant

Three months after a St Albans home was dramatically swooped upon by police searching for First and Second World War artefacts and munitions, the raid will feature on the BBC’s Countryfile series.

The episode, to be aired at 6.20pm tonight, will show presenter Tom Heap interviewing Herts Police Chief Constable Andy Bliss about heritage crime, and how it has the potential to damage historical artefacts forever.

In September hundreds of First and Second World War munitions and artefacts were taken from a Windmill Avenue address during a raid.

The operation was carried out by police officers and the force’s Rural Operational Support Team in partnership with the Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal team (EOD), English Heritage, firefighters, paramedics and officers from St Albans district council.

Bomb experts from the EOD later carried out controlled explosions of seized items at a nearby Sandridge farm.


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A 48-year-old man of Windmill Avenue was arrested on the day of the warrant on suspicion of theft from heritage and protected sites and firearms offences. He is currently on police bail.

• Heritage crime is any offence which targets historic sites such as landmarks, cathedrals and ancient battlefields. It can include architectural theft, anti-social behaviour, criminal damage, unauthorised excavation and metal detecting. The police are keen for residents to sign up to protect the county’s past through Heritage Watch via www.herts.police.uk/HeritageWatch and become the “eyes and ears” of such sites and artefacts.

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