A ‘SPOT of gardening’ led to a police operation in Kirkcaldy, but it ended - fortunately - more with a whimper than a bang.
Police were called to an address in the town’s Balwearie Crescent around lunchtime on Friday.
Officers respondedto a report that an object had been dug up in the garden of a local resident.
Police arrived on the scene in cars and vans and cordoned off part of the street, and although there was no evacuation of homes either there, or nearby, people crowded to see what was going on.
Officers also alerted neighbouring Balwearie High School, where, in addition, to normal classes, some pupils were sitting examinations.
Rector James More said: “The police communicated very effectively with the school in the early afternoon to advise us that the area of Balwearie Crescent had been cordoned off.
“As this is the main pedestrian exit from the school we planned a staged exit via the other main gate into Balwearie Gardens and from there to the Beveridge Park and home.
“I would like to compliment our pupils for the calm and sensible manner in which they left the school.
“I would also like to thank the staff for the highly professional way they responded to the situation.
“It was particularly useful to have both e-mail and text messaging systems to allow contact with parents to give them re-assurance that the situation was being managed safely.
“I am pleased to report that there was no disruption to the English intermediate exams taking place during the afternoon.”
Army ‘bomb squad’ experts had, by that time, been summoned from Edinburgh, which is where the excitement ended.
After being checked over, the ‘bomb’ was found to be nothing more dangerous than an empty metal container.
Inspector Alan Seath, who was in charge of the operation, said: “I would like to thank the local residents whose patience and assistance was instrumental in bringing this minor incident to a speedy conclusion”.
A police spokesman added that incidents of metal objects being dug up by gardeners and builders, who feared there was something suspicious about them, were relatively common in Fife, particularly in the north-east of the Kingdom.
Earlier this year, ordnance experts were called to a stretch of beach between Burntisland and Kinghorn when a suspicious device was found.
Police urge people to always report such ‘finds’, in case, unlike Friday, something explosive really is involved next time.