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‘There were people running about everywhere’ - residents’ shock over allotment drama as man found dead in van

PUBLISHED: 18:16 30 June 2020 | UPDATED: 10:09 01 July 2020

Police have cordoned off an area on an allotment site after a body was found in a van sparking a large emergency services' response Picture: Liz Coates

Police have cordoned off an area on an allotment site after a body was found in a van sparking a large emergency services' response Picture: Liz Coates

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Residents have spoken of their shock after a fleet of emergency vehicles descended on a quiet street.

A police car at the scene where a man's body was found in a van in Fremantle Road, Great Yarmouth Picture: Liz CoatesA police car at the scene where a man's body was found in a van in Fremantle Road, Great Yarmouth Picture: Liz Coates

People in Fremantle Road, in Great Yarmouth, say dozens of officers from across all the emergency services descended on the allotment site opposite their homes at around teatime on Monday (June 29).

Officers have since confirmed a man was found dead in a van in “unexplained circumstances” on the allotment site.

The scale of the response including some eight police cars and three incident support vehicles sparked fears people were making bombs on the secluded site - a warren of sheds, bushes and leafy pathways.

One woman said she watched the drama unfolding for some five hours before going to bed while it was still going on.

Police have cordoned off an area on an allotment site after a body was found in a van sparking a large emergency services' response Picture: Liz CoatesPolice have cordoned off an area on an allotment site after a body was found in a van sparking a large emergency services' response Picture: Liz Coates

She said: “There were people running about everywhere. First of all it seemed like the police were trying to get in because the allotments are locked.

“I don’t know if they broke in or were let in in the end.

“The paramedic went to get something from his car, and I saw the ambulance leave.

“The whole road was blocked.”

Police have cordoned off an area on an allotment site after a body was found in a van sparking a large emergency services' response Picture: Liz CoatesPolice have cordoned off an area on an allotment site after a body was found in a van sparking a large emergency services' response Picture: Liz Coates

At the height of the incident there was reckoned some eight police cars, several fire engines, three incident support vehicles, an ambulance and a paramedic car.

Her husband said: “It was like a terrorist attack. There were that many police and fire engines and specialist chemical units we wondered what on earth was going on.”

MORE: Police cordon off area after man found dead inside van

On Tuesday people were pruning and planting in the sunshine, mostly oblivious to the huge operation.

Most said they had not spoken to anyone about the incident and were shocked to find out about the grisly discovery.

A police car leaves the scene at Fremantle Road allotments where a man's body was found in a van the day before Picture: Liz CoatesA police car leaves the scene at Fremantle Road allotments where a man's body was found in a van the day before Picture: Liz Coates

Police tape remains around the incident site and two police officers are at the scene.

One plot holder said: “It is a very peaceful site. We seldom get any aggro.

“You get the odd break-in but we have not even had that for a while.”

According to Norfolk Constabulary, the death is being treated as unexplained but not suspicious.

The allotments at Fremantle Road are a haven of self-sufficiency and generally an oasis of calm for plot holders Picture: Liz CoatesThe allotments at Fremantle Road are a haven of self-sufficiency and generally an oasis of calm for plot holders Picture: Liz Coates

They said: “Chemicals were found at the scene so the area has been cordoned off while it is secured by police.

“It is not believed that these pose a wider risk to the public.”

The site is run by Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Allotment Association, and is reckoned to have some 200 plots.

The allotments at Fremantle Road are always locked  Picture: Liz CoatesThe allotments at Fremantle Road are always locked Picture: Liz Coates


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