A suspicious package found in Edinburgh city centre has been found to be an explosive device with potential to cause harm, despite first being thought of as an "elaborate hoax".
Police Scotland were alerted to the object at a shelter in Princes Street Gardens on Thursday, January 11.
Further tests by investigators have proven it to be dangerous - with the ability to harm people and property nearby - according to police.
A police statement said: "Initial assessment of the package suggested it was an elaborate hoax, however further forensic examination has now confirmed the contents had the potential to cause injury to persons and damage to property within close proximity of it."
UPDATED APPEAL - SUSPICIOUS PACKAGE - PRINCES STREET GARDENSOfficers continue to investigate the discovery of a suspicious package left in Princes Street Gardens nearly six weeks ago and have today made a fresh public appeal for information.Detectives are urging anyone with information or who witnessed anything suspicious in the Gardens on Thursday 11th January 2018 to come forward.Officers are also appealing for anyone with mobile phone/camera footage taken in or around the Gardens on 11th January to contact police.Initial assessment of the package suggested it was an elaborate hoax, however further forensic examination has now confirmed the contents had the potential to cause injury to persons and damage to property within close proximity of it.An extensive investigation is continuing into the incident and public safety remains Police Scotland's primary focus.Detective Chief Inspector Kenneth Armstrong of Police Scotland's Specialist Crime Division discusses the investigation below and more information can be found here:http://www.scotland.police.uk/whats-happening/news/2018/february/updated-appeal-on-princes-street-gardens-suspicious-package
Posted by Edinburgh Police Division on Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Detective Chief Inspector Kenny Armstrong, Specialist Crime Division, added: "It has been almost six weeks since this suspicious package was left within a shelter at Princes Street Gardens and I'm hoping that this further public appeal will encourage people with information - no matter how small - to come forward.
"I'd like to hear from anyone who saw any suspicious behaviour in the immediate vicinity of the Gardens or who has information as to who may be responsible."
The packages is still undergoing further expert forensic examination but Police Scotland has said it is unable to give further details about its contents and capability.
Around 800 hours of CCTV footage has been examined and a number of people who were in the gardens have been interviewed.
An "extensive" investigation is ongoing and more than a dozen detectives were in the park on Wednesday.
Officers have urged witnesses and anyone with photographs or video footage taken on the day in the surrounding area to come forward.
Chief Inspector David Robertson added: "Public safety remains our priority and I would urge people to remain vigilant, be alert not alarmed, and to report anything suspicious to police.
"We continue to police the many city centre events appropriately and are committed to working in partnership to ensure Edinburgh remains a safe place to live, work and visit."
Those with information have been urged to contact Police Scotland via 101 quoting incident number 1204 of the February 21 or anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Members of the public with images or footage can email OPERATIONALEXANDRA@scotland.pnn.police.uk.