Bomb disposal experts were called to a home in Middlesbrough on Saturday after the arrest of a man in north London on suspicion of terrorism offences.
The 21-year-old, from the Middlesbrough area, is suspected of involvement in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism contrary to section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000.
Four properties across England are being searched as a result of the intelligence-led operation – one in London, one in the Middlesbrough suburb of Teesville and two others elsewhere in the town.
“Following the discovery of some potentially suspicious items at the address in Teesville, EOD [explosive ordnance disposal] have been in attendance at the property to provide specialist advice. There has been no evacuation of local residents at this time,” Cleveland police said in a statement.
Police arrived at the house on The Avenue in Teesville on Saturday at 10.30am to secure the property, and officers in riot gear were later seen by neighbours entering the property.
Bomb disposal teams were called in after the discovery of potentially suspicious items on Saturday evening. Photographs on Teesside Live showed officers guarding the shed at the end of the garden.
A resident told the website locals had been scared after receiving no information about the operation.
“I asked four times for information,” she said. “Next minute the bomb disposal van came. It was scary. We were told nothing, just not to worry. Nothing like this happens round here.”
Supt Dave Sutherland from Cleveland police said: “I know that the nature of this police activity will be concerning to residents in our local communities, and I want to reassure people that public safety is our main priority.
“You will see increased patrols from our neighbourhood teams and I would ask anyone with concerns to speak to these officers. The activity is intelligence-led and pre-planned and we are working closely with our colleagues from counter-terrorism policing north-east.
“Our aim is to keep people as updated and informed as we are able to given the sensitive nature of this investigation. We appreciate the public’s patience and understanding while we carry out this work.”
The suspect remains in custody.