Police have released all sites linked to the Skripal poisoning case in Salisbury for decontamination, apart from the former spy’s house, Cabinet ministers have been told.
Prime Minister Theresa May and her top ministers were given an update at their weekly Cabinet meeting on Tuesday on what was described as “one of the largest and most complex” counter-terror investigations the UK has ever seen.
They heard that more than 400 police officers – including some 250 counter-terrorism specialists – have been involved in the inquiry into the March 4 poisoning.
Ministers praised the “resilience” of Salisbury residents in the face of disruption, which they blamed on “Russia’s reckless actions”.
Moscow has repeatedly denied responsibility for the attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia.
Mrs May’s official spokesman told reporters: “The police have now released all the sites for decontamination, except for the Skripal house.
“Clean-up work is well under way and the priority is making the sites safe so they can be returned to use and Salisbury can get back to normal.
“The ongoing investigation is one of the largest and most complex ever undertaken by counter-terrorism policing.
“Over 250 officers from across the counter-terrorism policing network have been deployed, alongside over 160 officers from Wiltshire Police and a range of experts and partners.
“Officers continue to trawl through over 5,000 hours of CCTV and examine over 1,350 exhibits that have been seized.
“Around 500 witnesses have been identified and hundreds of statements have been taken.”
The spokesman said a range of Government support is being provided to help Salisbury get back to normal, including grant funding for local businesses and support for local tourism initiatives.
“Cabinet praised the resilience of the residents of Salisbury in the face of widespread disruption caused by Russia’s reckless actions,” the spokesman added.
“The city is safe and it is open for business.”