A POLICE cordon has now been lifted and shoppers allowed back into a shopping centre following a bomb scare.
Shoppers were asked to leave Castle Dene Shopping Centre, in Peterlee, after a concerning call was made to the Phones 4U shop in the centre.
The call was made to the store at around 12.20pm on Tuesday and staff in turn rang police.
Shop staff had told the police the call was made by what sounded like a young man, possibly in his late teens, who claimed there was a “bomb in the shop”.
As a precaution police put in place a 300ft cordon and evacuated the shopping centre.
Officers searched the premises and found nothing suspicious, the dog section arrived and a specialist sniffer dog was also deployed.
Police say the dog also found nothing of concern and the cordon was removed shortly before 1.30pm.
A Durham Police spokesman said: “The incident is being treated as a malicious hoax and police enquiries are continuing.”