In a follow-up to a report yesterday, the Counter Terrorism Policing Network have confirmed that the two people who have been taken ill in Amesbury have been exposed to the nerve agent Novichok.

gas maskWiltshire Police Chief Constable Kier Pritchard said: “We cannot underestimate the impact the shocking news of a second major incident in this part of our county in such a short space of time will have. The communities in Salisbury and Amesbury have shown extraordinary resilience and spirit since the events of March 4 and I have no doubt they will rise to this latest challenge in the same way.

“I fully appreciate the effect the cordons will have on local people and businesses. Please let me reassure you that my officers and staff, partner agencies and our colleagues at the Counter Terrorism Policing network will do all we can to progress this investigation and help return the communities of Amesbury and Salisbury back to normality.

Novichok: A little background on the nerve agent

“People living and working in Amesbury and Salisbury will see a heightened police presence in their communities as this investigation progresses – this is a proportionate response to an investigation of this nature and scale. As outlined by the Counter Terrorism Policing Network, this will include officers wearing protective equipment as they carry out their activities.”

Mike Wade, Deputy Director of Health Protection for PHE South West, said:

Our current advice, based on the small number of casualties affected, is that the risk to the public is low. We will keep this assessment under constant review as further information becomes known.

While there is no immediate health risk to anyone who may have been in any of the 5 locations identified by police today (Thursday 5 July 2018), as a highly precautionary measure we are advising that people who visited the sites between 10pm on June 29 and 6.30pm on Saturday, June 30, undertake the following actions.

If you visited any of the 5 locations identified by police you should:

  • wash the clothing that you were wearing in an ordinary washing machine using your regular detergent at the temperature recommended for the clothing
  • wipe personal items such as phones, handbags and other electronic items with cleansing or baby wipes and dispose of the wipes in the bin (ordinary domestic waste disposal)
  • if your items are dry-clean only, you should keep them double-bagged and securely fastened. Further details will follow.
  • none of these actions should damage your washing machine
  • other items such as jewellery and spectacles which cannot go in the washing machine or be cleaned with baby wipes, should be hand washed with warm water and detergent and then rinsed with clean cold water
  • thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water after cleaning any items
  • you do not need to seek advice from a health professional unless you are experiencing symptoms