Sussex Police have launched an investigation to find the person behind an bomb threat at the Grand Hotel in Brighton.

The force said the anonymous phone call to staff yesterday (Sunday, 10) is now being regarded as a hoax.

Guests were evacuated at around 4.30pm following the call, which claimed there was an explosive device in the building.

Management there alerted police, who conducted searches of the hotel featuring specially trained search advisers, police dogs and bomb disposal experts.

Roads and car parks adjacent to the hotel were closed following the incident.

The Brighton Centre was also evacuated as part of the precautions, as it is next to the Grand Hotel.

Police said the call did not threaten the Centre, which is hosting the TUC conference until Wednesday (September, 13).

Police said the searches of the hotels ended at 9.15pm with no devices being found.

Shortly after, staff and guests began to re-enter the hotel.

Chief Superintendent Lisa Bell said:

“It was important that this report was thoroughly looked into, and we are grateful for the patience and understanding of staff, guests, and people using the nearby car parks, whose afternoon and evening was disrupted.

“A comprehensive criminal investigation is underway to trace the person responsible for the call.

“We are not disclosing any details of the call, but certain lines of enquiry are being actively followed.”

The Grand Hotel in Brighton was bombed in 1984 by the IRA in an attempted assassination of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her party, who were staying at the hotel for the Conservative Party conference.

Five people were killed and 31 were injured.