Man arrested in connection with RAF Mildenhall incident has been detained under Mental Health Act

PUBLISHED: 16:20 19 December 2017 | UPDATED: 07:30 20 December 2017

Police near the scene of an incident at RAF Mildenhall. Picture: MICHAEL STEWARD

Police near the scene of an incident at RAF Mildenhall. Picture: MICHAEL STEWARD

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A 44-year-old man from Norfolk arrested in connection with an incident at RAF Mildenhall has been detained under the Mental Health Act.

Reports of RAF Mildenhall on lock down after a vehicle hit the main entrance. Picture: GREGG BROWN Reports of RAF Mildenhall on lock down after a vehicle hit the main entrance. Picture: GREGG BROWN

The Suffolk airbase was put on lockdown for around two hours on Monday during the “security incident”, which is not being treated as a terrorist attack.

The man was arrested on suspicion of criminal trespass and criminal damage and Suffolk police said yesterday he had been detained under section 136 of the Mental Health Act.

Police near the scene of an incident at RAF Mildenhall. Picture: GREGG BROWN Police near the scene of an incident at RAF Mildenhall. Picture: GREGG BROWN

The force said on Monday it was not looking for anyone else in relation to the incident and that there was no wider threat to the public.

According to a senior Suffolk police officer, a driver drove through a check point at the main gate to the base after failing to provide identification.

Speaking to this paper from the scene on Monday, Superintendent Kim Warner said the man was brought to a halt close to a V22 Osprey following a “short pursuit”.

Shots were fired by American service personnel at the base and the man sustained cuts and bruises in the incident.

National media were reporting that the man had a teddy bear strapped to his chest and told guards he was someone “important within the military establishment” but yesterday Suffolk police would not comment on those specific claims.

Captain Lauren Ott, chief of public affairs for RAF Mildenhall, said the force responded to the situation in accordance with training and established procedures.

She added: “We are proud of the teamwork exhibited by our dedicated security forces and local responders who worked closely to contain the situation.

“We continually train and exercise for exactly this reason. When faced with a real world situation, we have every confidence that our airmen and host nation counterparts are able to work together quickly and diligently to ensure the safety and security of the base population and the surrounding community.”

Capt Ott was not able to confirm if patrols had been stepped up at the base in light of this incident, but she said security measures were constantly reviewed.

The base is due to shut in 2024. Investigations into the incident continue and anyone with information is asked to contact Suffolk police on 101.

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