Enquiries ongoing into crossbow bolt landing on Oval field of play during match
The incident is not being treated as terrorism-related and the Met Police are continuing their investigation.
Enquiries into a crossbow bolt landing on the Oval field during Surrey’s County Championship clash with Middlesex remain ongoing, the Metropolitan Police have confirmed.
Middlesex batsmen John Simpson and Nick Compton and Surrey’s fielders were ushered inside by the umpires following the incident while the 1,068 spectators were urged to take cover before armed police carried out a “controlled evacuation”.
The incident is not being treated as terrorism-related and the Met Police are continuing their investigation, urging anyone with footage of the incident to contact them.
Officers and an armed police response team arrived within 15 minutes and a full search of the ground was carried out by police and around 30 security staff.
A statement issued by the Met Police on Friday morning said no arrests had yet been made.
“Detectives from Lambeth are appealing for anyone with footage of the moments up to and including the loose of a crossbow bolt at the Oval to come forward,” it read.
“Police were made aware at 16:35hrs on Thursday, 31 August, of reports that a crossbow bolt had been loosed into the Oval Cricket Ground.
Detective Constable Dominic Landragin of Lambeth CID said: “There were significant crowds watching the match and it is likely that a number of those present will have footage of the incident that could assist in our investigation.
“Although nobody was injured, this was a reckless action taken with no regard for the safety and well-being of the spectators or the players. It is important that we trace those responsible and I urge anyone who has footage of the incident to get in touch as soon as possible.
“As a result of the incident the match being played was suspended and the ground evacuated. There were no reported injuries.
“It is believed that the bolt came from outside of the ground. At this stage, the incident is not being treated as terrorism-related.
“Anyone in possession of footage should contact Lambeth CID by dialling 101. To provide information anonymously please call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111. There have been no arrests and enquiries continue.”
The Division One encounter – which was meandering towards a stalemate in the final session, with Middlesex holding a 181-run lead with three second-innings wickets in hand – was officially called off at 5.05pm BST, 45 minutes after the incident occurred.
Surrey captain Gareth Batty was fielding about 25 yards from where the pink-coloured bolt, with red and yellow fletching, landed, and he said: “It was a pretty tasty arrow with a proper metal end.
“I did archery as a kid and that was not a normal archery arrow. The umpires dealt with it very well. There were no questions asked – we went off very quickly.
“Someone saw it in flight, there was a noise when it landed but it happened so quick. It is a deadly weapon for sure, if it had hit someone it would have caused some serious damage. It just shows the world we live in.
“You have to be diligent, it would be stupid not to be but if you’re constantly worrying about what is going to happen that is not a great place to be.”