October 7, 2020 11.09 am This story is over 37 months old

Former Lincoln PCSO faces explosives and illegal guns charges

A whole street was evacuated in raid

A former Lincolnshire Police PCSO has been suspended and charged after a number of weapons and chemicals of a potentially explosive nature were recovered during a raid at a property in Lincoln.

Lincolnshire Police and other emergency services were called to a property at St Helen’s Avenue in Lincoln in relation to an ongoing criminal investigation during the afternoon of Sunday, October 4.

Safety checks were carried out by the Bomb Disposal Squad before the area was declared safe and residents were allowed back into their homes just after 4pm.

The woman since been named as 34-year-old Zoe Watts of St Helen’s Avenue. She used to be a PCSO and then moved into a different role with the force.

She has been suspended by Lincolnshire Police while criminal proceedings and an investigation take place.

Watts has been charged with one count of importing prohibited weapons with intent to evade a prohibition or restriction and one count of making an explosive substance for an unlawful purpose.

She was remanded in custody to appear before Lincoln Magistrates Court on October 7.

Police searching a car on St Helen’s Avenue in Lincoln.

Searches at the property have been ongoing since Sunday and police anticipate these will continue over the next couple of days.

Assistant Chief Constable Kerrin Wilson said: “We know that this is an unusual and worrying incident which will concern our communities.

“We within Lincolnshire Police share these feelings and although this relates to someone who works for the force, we will investigate this meticulously without fear or favour.

“Since the initial incident on Sunday our number one priority has been the safety of the public, and I’d like to thank local residents for their understanding while our searches at the property continue – it really is appreciated.

“Please be mindful that as a person has now been charged with offences, this is an active investigation which means that engaging in rumour and speculation – especially on any public platforms such as social media – can have a detrimental effect on any potential court proceedings.

“I fully understand that people will wish to be kept informed and we will continue to release as much detail as we can, as soon as we can.”

Anyone who can support the investigation should call police on 101 quoting incident 137 of October 4.

Alternatively, it can be reported through the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.