Thursday 26 January 2012, 1:19pm
Police were called at 1.20pm, to reports that a suspicious package had been left in the middle of the Brunel Centre in Bletchley. Shortly afterwards, there was also a report that a similar package had been left outside Sainsbury's in the same shopping centre.
Officers were dispatched, the centre was evacuated and sealed off and army bomb disposal experts were called.
The suspect bags were confirmed safe at 3.15pm and the area was reopened.
Two men, aged 20 and 24 from Bletchley, have been arrested on suspicion of placing or dispatching articles to cause a bomb hoax.
Det Insp Kelly Glister, investigating, said: "We are taking this incident extremely seriously. It caused a considerable amount of disruption and local businesses lost earnings while the area was closed off.
"We have reviewed the CCTV of the area and have arrested two suspects who are currently in custody and being interviewed by detectives."
Supt Nikki Ross, Milton Keynes LPA Commander, said: "We have established protocols and procedures which have to be followed in the event of a suspicious package being found in a shopping centre.
"As a result, a considerable amount of police resources were called upon to deal with this hoax and anyone who thinks about carrying one out can expect to be dealt with robustly.
"However, I was extremely pleased by the way in which all the emergency services involved in the incident worked efficiently and quickly together to ensure everyone in Bletchley remained safe."