A smoke bomb went off in Churchill Square in Brighton during a protest against the Covid vaccination center Brighton News

A SMOKE bomb was set off inside a shopping center during a protest against a new Covid vaccination clinic – prompting an evacuation.

The Brighton Center vaccination center was due to move to the former Topshop store in Churchill Square on Monday, August 30.

Following a protest, the new site was closed during the protest.

Police said protesters started to gather at 9:35 a.m., with around 80 protesters gathered on private land by noon.

“Police have been made aware of a planned protest,” a spokesperson said.

“Officers and PCSOs were present to engage with protesters and facilitate a peaceful protest while minimizing disruption to members of the public.

“The protest moved to public land in Russell Place, across from Churchill Square, and continued until 5:50 pm.”

Sussex Police said a device, believed to be a smoke bomb, was set off inside the mall at 1:35 p.m.

The Argus: A smoke bomb was set off in Churchill Square during a protest against the new Covid vaccination center in Brighton A smoke bomb was set off in Churchill Square during a protest against the new Covid vaccination center in Brighton

Footage shows orange smoke engulfing the mall after a rocket appears to have been placed inside a trash can.

In the video, members of the public can be heard saying, “You set off the fire alarm and evacuated the buyers. ”

Mall staff can be seen attempting to retrieve the smoke bomb from a trash can as orange smoke blows through the air.

Police have confirmed that no arrests have been made, but police investigations are ongoing.

Chief Superintendent Justin Burtenshaw said, “We recognize the right of the public to protest and our officers will work with organizers to ensure the safety of protesters and the general public, as well as to minimize disruption.

“Investigations are currently underway into Monday’s protest, in particular into the circumstances which led to the triggering of what is believed to be a smoke bomb.

“We encourage anyone with information that can assist with the investigation to contact the police online or by calling 101, citing the 048 series of 08/30.”

The NHS made the decision to temporarily close the vaccination center shortly after, police added.

The Sussex Community NHS has asked people with vaccination appointments at the new Churchill Square center not to attend on Monday.

“Due to disruptions in Churchill Square, our vaccination center had to close for a few hours on Monday August 30,” said a spokesperson.

The Argus: Protest against the new Covid vaccination center in Brighton Protest against the new Covid vaccination center in Brighton

“The doors reopened just after 4pm with our teams working hard to see everyone who had made an appointment, as well as those who wanted walk-in appointments. ”

The former Topshop store took over from the Brighton Center as the trust’s largest Covid-19 vaccination center.

The Brighton Center site opened in January, offering up to 3,000 vaccinations per day during peak demand.

It was made up of more than 150 SCFT employees and more than 100 volunteers, every day since.

The team delivered a total of more than 250,000 first and second dose vaccines to the center.

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This notice was published: 2021-08-31 13:16:40

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