Annual Report 1984

The Brighton Bomb

At 2.54 am on the morning of Friday 12th October an explosive device was detonated in the Grand Hotel, Brighton. Many of the guests resident in the hotel at the time were attending the Conservative Party Conference, including the Prime Minister and members of the Cabinet.

Considerable damage was caused to the building. Five people died as the result of the explosion and 33 people were injured, including five police officers. The provisional I.R.A. subsequently claimed responsibility.

The investigation is the largest ever mounted in Sussex and has already produced thousands of enquiries, some of international scope. Immediately following the blast the support and assistance provided by other police forces, the ambulance and fire services, the local authority, and various other agencies was unstinting and unparalleled. An enormous contribution was made by the Metropolitan Police Ant-Terrorist Unit, led by Commander William Hucklesby and his successor, Commander Simon Crawshaw.

The initial task for Scenes of Crimes Officers at the Grand Hotel was to preserve the scene, not only of the hotel itself, but of the surrounding area containing debris from the explosion. Their meticulous search for evidence was a magnificent example of skilled teamwork; 3,790 dustbins and 39 skips of debris were recovered and removed in poor weather conditions from an unstable building.  

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