Police procedures for handling exhibits are being reviewed after an explosives scare at Wellington Central Police Station last night.
Forty staff and eight prisoners were evacuated for three hours at 6pm when detectives found some wires and detonators in a box amongst property recovered from a Ngaio house.
Inspector Marty Grenfell, Wellington Area Controller, says the officers were unaware of the packageâ€™s contents until they got back to the station and started to sort the property.
Army disposal experts from Trentham were immediately called in, staff were evacuated and the eight prisoners in the cells were relocated to Kilbirnie CPC. Call to the Police Central Communications Centre in Wellington were switched to North Comms in Auckland.
"There was no discernable impact on policing services in Wellington," Mr Grenfell says. "We were able to relocate our operations and services continued. It was a good test for business continuity."
Mr Grenfell says there is no suggestion the device was aimed at police. "It was one of those unfortunate times when the officers concerned didnâ€™t appreciate what they were handling until they were back at the station.
"Itâ€™s a wake-up call for all our staff when it comes to the safe handling of property."
Police are also investigating the deviceâ€™s source.