Less than a month after Julian warned, in the Southern Daily Echo, that malicious hoaxers would use MPs’ home addresses to send substances purporting to be anthrax to unprotected mailboxes, the following incident was reported in that newspaper:
'WHITE POWDER SENT TO EASTLEIGH BOROUGH COUNCIL MEMBERS'
Southern Daily Echo – 3 April 2009
By Melanie Adams
AN investigation has been launched after packages containing a white powder were posted to the Hampshire homes of nine Councillors. The Daily Echo understands that envelopes containing the unidentified substance landed on the doormats of Eastleigh borough Councillors.
It is believed all nine Councillors who received the delivery are members of the Eastleigh Local Area Committee and were targeted because of their civic roles. It is understood police were first alerted on Tuesday morning, after one of the Councillors opened the innocent-looking letter that came with the rest of the post.
Not knowing what the white substance was Councillor Andy Moore immediately called police to his home in Tennyson Road, Eastleigh. A warning then went out to all Councillors not to open any similar envelopes that arrived in the post that day. It is believed police then went on to seize eight more envelopes from the homes of the other Councillors who make up the committee. An investigation has now been launched into the suspicious packages, with tests being carried out to identify what the substance is and where is came from.
It is thought that this was a hoax and that the powder is not harmful. Councillors have remained tight-lipped about the events, but it is understood that many are furious that their family homes have been targeted. Chris Thomas, Chairman of Eastleigh Local Area Committee, said:
“I can confirm that there was an incident at Tennyson Road on Tuesday at Councillor Moore's house. However I am unable to comment further on details of the incident. I have every confidence that the police are dealing with this matter urgently and hope that they are able to bring it to a speedy conclusion.”
Police have refused to confirm the nature of the incident but a spokesman said: “Police attended an address in Tennyson Road on Tuesday following an incident, which is currently being investigated.
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'EASTLEIGH MAN ARRESTED OVER HOAX PACKAGES SENT TO COUNCILLORS'
Southern Daily Echo – 6 April 2009
Detectives in Eastleigh have arrested a man in connection with the distribution of hoax packages to Hampshire Councillors. A 41 year-old local man was arrested by detectives on Saturday afternoon and after being questioned he was released on police bail until May 7 pending further enquiries.
As reported by the Daily Echo Councillors on the Eastleigh Local Area Committee received the packages in the post last week which appeared to contain a white substance. Detectives confirmed they called to address in Tennyson Road, Eastleigh on Tuesday morning after the occupant opened a package containing a white substance. The substance was confirmed to be harmless after examination by police. Eight packages sent to other addresses in the town on the same day were also seized by police for forensic examination.
A police spokesperson said:
“These packages were sent to targeted individuals and early indications are that they were all innocuous and appear to be a hoax. A man has been arrested and questioned in relation to the incidents and further lines of enquiry are taking place, including forensic examination of all packages seized.”