Skripals poisoned from front door of Salisbury home, police say

Specialists report highest concentration of nerve agent at home of Russian spy

Detectives investigating the attempted murders of Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal have said they believe the pair were poisoned with a nerve agent at the front door of his Salisbury home.

Specialists investigating the poisoning of the the Skripals have found the highest concentration of the nerve agent on the front door at the address, police said.

Counter-terrorism detectives will continue to focus their inquiries on the home address for the coming weeks, and possibly months, after the father and daughter were found unconscious on a park bench in Salisbury earlier this month.

Local police have retaken control of The Maltings shopping centre, where the Skripals were first discovered, and London Road cemetery from counter-terrorism detectives, where officers focused their investigation into the nerve agent attack in previous weeks.

More than 130 people could have been exposed to the chemical weapon in the aftermath of the poisoning in Salisbury, which the UK government believes was committed by the Russian state.

In response to the poisoning, more than 150 Russian officials have been expelled from more than 25 countries, and the UK government is considering further measures to punish Russia, including a ban on the City of London from selling Russian sovereign debt.

Public health experts are still working to establish whether the nerve agent attack presents a long term risks to Salisbury’s residents, which will receive a £1m support package from central government to help recover.

Deputy assistant commissioner Dean Haydon, the senior national coordinator for counterterrorism policing, said: “At this point in our investigation, we believe the Skripals first came into contact with the nerve agent from their front door.

“We are therefore focusing much of our efforts in and around their address. Those living in the Skripals’ neighbourhood can expect to see officers carrying out searches as part of this but I want to reassure them that the risk remains low and our searches are precautionary.

“I’d also like to thank the local community for their continued support and understanding. The unique circumstances of this investigation means that officers are likely be in the area for several weeks and months.”

About 250 counter-terrorism detectives continue to work around the clock on the investigation, supported by a full range of experts and partners. Officers continue to trawl through more than 5,000 hours of CCTV and examine more than 1,350 exhibits that have been seized. Approximately 500 witnesses have been identified and hundreds of statements taken.

Traces of the nerve agent have been found at some of the other scenes detectives have been working at over the past few weeks, but at lower concentrations than that found at the home address.


Patrick Greenfield

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Sergei Skripal: former Russian spy poisoned with nerve agent, say police
Former Russian spy’s case being treated as attempted murder, with police officer also ‘seriously ill’

Vikram Dodd, Luke Harding and Ewen MacAskill

08, Mar, 2018 @7:21 AM

Article image
Salisbury attack: police continue to examine home of Sergei Skripal
All other related sites released for cleanup but no suspects yet identified, ministers told

Steven Morris

08, May, 2018 @1:29 PM

Article image
Officers remove bench in Salisbury where Skripals fell ill
Scotland Yard says bench will be preserved as potential crime exhibit in investigation into attempted murders

Steven Morris

23, Mar, 2018 @4:18 PM

Article image
Scientists warn of nerve agent potency as Salisbury clean-up begins
Decontamination plans revealed six weeks after attack using novichok on Sergei and Yulia Skripal

Steven Morris and Caroline Bannock

19, Apr, 2018 @8:56 PM

Article image
How Salisbury case went from local drama to international incident
When police found Sergei Skripal and his daughter slumped on a bench, they suspected drugs. But it proved to be far more sinister

Luke Harding, Steven Morris and Caroline Bannock

10, Mar, 2018 @7:00 AM

Article image
Russia tested nerve agent on door handles before Skripal attack, UK dossier claims
Previously classified intelligence about poisoning of former Russian spy sent to Nato

Ewen MacAskill Intelligence correspondent

13, Apr, 2018 @12:00 PM

Article image
Counter-terrorism police take over Sergei Skripal 'poison' case
Inquiry stepped up as Boris Johnson warns Russia of ‘robust’ response in spy mystery

Luke Harding, Steven Morris and Kevin Rawlinson

06, Mar, 2018 @7:41 PM

Article image
Police chief leads praise for officer poisoned in Russian spy attack
Nick Bailey, a detective sergeant in Wiltshire police, receives specialist treatment and tributes for work in Salisbury

Matthew Weaver, Steven Morris, Caroline Bannock and Jessica Elgot

08, Mar, 2018 @7:44 PM

Article image
Yulia Skripal chose Salisbury as family home, book reveals
The Skripal Files by Mark Urban sets out intriguing details on ex-spy Sergei’s life

Steven Morris

04, Oct, 2018 @9:03 AM

Article image
Salisbury, scratchcards and sausage: the quiet life of Sergei Skripal
Russian spy who is critically ill in hospital seems to be well liked by locals in Wiltshire town

Steven Morris, Caroline Bannock and Kevin Rawlinson

06, Mar, 2018 @8:38 PM