New barriers to go up at Salisbury spy poisoning cordons

Salisbury spy Zizzi New Hoardings April 2018

Published by the Spire FM News Team at 8:57pm 19th April 2018 (Updated 7:22am 20th April 2018)

More permanent hoardings are to be put up in areas like the Maltings as the decontamination process gets underway.

New, more permanent, barriers are to be put up around the cordons in Salisbury city centre, as the decontamination process steps up in the wake of the spy poisoning incident.

They're starting to be installed in the areas where police tape has been stretched across the scenes for the last six weeks, since Sergei and Yulia Skripal were found unwell.

Areas like the Maltings, the Mill pub and Zizzi in the city centre will be among the places to get the new barriers.

As they're put up, military personnel will get to work on site cleaning up the areas thought to be at risk of contamination from the novichok nerve agent that affected the Skriapls and Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey.

More details about the clean-up and recovery process have been revealed at a public meeting at Salisbury City Hall tonight (Thursday April 19th).

Wiltshire Council Salisbury Recovery Meeting April 19th

It's been confirmed by Defra, the Government department who will lead the decontamination, that public service areas will be worked on first, to bring them back into full operation as soon as possible.

Wiltshire Council and Wiltshire Police's Bourne Hill offices will close to staff and the public from 4.00pm on Friday afternoon for that clean-up work to begin.

The efforts will then focus on the Maltings, with the aim of getting that re-opened, as well as work on residential homes affected by the nerve agent.

Zizzi and the Mill are further down the list of nine sites to be decontaminated.

Sergei Skripals' home in Christie Miller Road in Salisbury is also cordoned and will be cleaned up as part of the process - but it remains the focus of the criminal investigation and is likely to be 'for many weeks' to come.

200 hundred counter terrorism officers are still working on the investigation.

Salisbury spy Maltings New Hoardings April 2018

SCENE GUARDS WILL REMAIN:

Wiltshire Police have said that while the cordons remain in place, they will continue to have scene guards - either by police officers, or in the future, using security staff.

It takes 80 officers a day to man the cordons, with 20 different police forces helping with that extra work.

Deputy Chief Constable Paul Mills told people in the meeting that he'd been out on patrol with some of those officers this week - and while the weather's been warmer, they had been offered water and even ice creams by members of the public.

He thanked the people of Salisbury for their continued support of officers.

Maltings New Cordons April 2018

'BRIGHTENING UP' THE CORDONS:

While the cordons will initially look plain, there are plans to make them look more inviting to locals and visitors to the city.

It's hoped artwork and directional signage can be added to the hoardings to remind us of the areas that are unaffected by the decontamination.

GETTING IT RIGHT:

The key message from Defra and Wiltshire Council about the decontamination process is that they want to make sure that Salisbury city centre is safe for the public.

Concerns were raised in the public meeting about the length of time it could take for the whole process to be completed.

We have been warned that all of the clean-up may take until the end of 2018 to be finished. 

Defra said the work that their military partners will be doing in the next few months 'will eliminate any potential future exposure' to the nerve agent in Salisbury.

That's something that's been reiterated by the leader of Wiltshire Council, Baroness Scott of Bybrook:

"We have to trust our scientists, they have been planning for a number of weeks now. We have to allow them to get in there and do the decontamination, then test it again, make sure it is absolutely clear and safe for the city for the future."

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