Hundreds of exhibits recovered by Amesbury incident investigators

Lush House Crane Street Queen Elizabeth Gardens Cordons July 14th 2018

Published by Faye Tryhorn at 7:51pm 14th July 2018. (Updated at 10:22am 17th July 2018)

The Met Police say they're expecting the searches within the cordons to take weeks, if not months.

A total of over 400 exhibits, samples and items have been taken in by officers during the novichok incident so far.

They're investigating the murder of 44 year old Dawn Sturgess from Durrington and the poisoning of 45 year old Charlie Rowley from Amesbury.

Muggleton Road Major Incident In Amesbury July 2018
Police have been standing guard outside Charlie Rowley's house in Muggleton Road, Amesbury since the incident began

Cordons have been set up at locations like Charlie's house in Muggleton Road in Amesbury; John Baker House in Salisbury's Rollestone Street; Amesbury Baptist Centre; and Queen Elizabeth Gardens in Salisbury.

There have also been cars seized in Swindon, Chippenham, the Wiltshire Air Ambulance base in Semington and from Salisbury Ambulance Station.  

Salisbury Ambulance Station July 14th 2018

An ambulance was loaded onto a military vehicle to be taken away for testing on Saturday afternoon (July 14th)

METICULOUS SEARCHES:

We're being warned by the officers leading the investigation that it will take a while.

Yesterday (Friday July 13th), it was announced that a 'small bottle' found at Charlie's house had been recovered, tested, and found to contain the nerve agent that poisoned the couple. 

But more searches are needed to ensure there are no further 'sources of contamination' and to gather any further evidence towards the investigation.

Neil Basu and Kier Pritchard (Amesbury Incident July 2018)
Counter terror chief, Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, with Wiltshire's Police Chief Constable Kier Pritchard

MOST COMPLEX SEARCH EVER:

Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, National Lead for Counter Terrorism (CT) Policing in the UK said: 

"It is not an exaggeration to say that the search process linked with both this and the Salisbury investigation has been one of the most complex and difficult that UK policing has ever faced.

"The work being carried out is extremely important. Not only are we trying to solve an extremely serious crime that has been committed, but we're also working to identify any potential outstanding risks to the public; all whilst ensuring that all those involved in the search process are not themselves exposed to any risk of contamination.

"It is painstaking and vital work, which unfortunately takes a very long time to complete, but I am sure that the public understands why it is absolutely necessary.

"The scientists and forensic officers have all volunteered to be a part of the search teams, knowing that they are risking themselves to exposure to a deadly nerve agent. This shouldn't be taken for granted and their bravery and dedication is remarkable."

Rollestone street barricade salt lane end

Cordons have been set up outside John Baker House, where novichok victim Dawn Sturgess lived

Earlier this week, more details were revealed about how decontamination is carried out by the volunteers given the difficult task.

Work is also ongoing to figure out whether the nerve agent found at Charlie Rowley's house is from the same batch as used in the attack against Sergei and Yulia Skripal in March.

We're told 'this remains a main line of enquiry for the investigation team'.

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