Large parts of Birmingham city centre were evacuated on Saturday night because of what was said to be a "substantial threat" to public safety.
Thousands of people who had been enjoying a night out in the bars and restaurants around Broad Street and the Chinese Quarter were told they must leave the area.
Several controlled explosions were carried out on a bus outside a pub in Corporation Street - although police later said they believed it did not pose a threat.
The police said they were not connecting the alert with last Thursday's attacks in London.
Were you caught up in the alert?
This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.
You can send any footage or pictures of the alert to 07921 648 159 or to firstname.lastname@example.org
The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:
As a Brummie now living in Central London, I have to echo the comments of Maxine Still. Bomb scares are always inconvenient but just consider how inconvenient it would be if your leg was blown off? There are so many people absolutely devastated by what has happened here in London. Having your night cut short should be the least of your worries. Come on, a little perspective please.
Cat Power, Hoxton, London (originally from Birmingham)
We were on our way back from the Oasis concert in Milton Keynes. The attendant on the train announced that Birmingham City centre had been evacuated and we would not be able to travel through New Street. Everyone remained calm, I didn't hear many complaints. The police were helpful and I am grateful that nothing more serious came of these events.
My friends and I were in Birmingham on Saturday night to celebrate my 30th birthday. We managed to have our first drink in the hotel bar before it was evacuated. Unfortunately we never got to another bar that night but it's better to be safe than sorry. We were sent to Lady Wood Arts and Leisure Centre at about 2.30am where the Red Cross provided us with food, drink and blankets. This was a blessing - a big thank you to the Red Cross, they did a wonderful job.
Rachel Barnett, Nottingham
I was with friends in Birmingham for a Stag weekend. It wasn't until returning at 10pm by taxi from the local greyhound track that we learnt of the threat and police cordon. Thoughts turned to calling family and friends, most of whom at that time were unaware of the problem. Everyone we encountered was fairly relaxed, it didn't feel like there was an immediate threat of danger. Eventually word filtered out of temporary accommodation being provided at Aston University. With the friendly help of the police we found our way to Aston. The people at Aston were warm and welcoming, providing tea, biscuits and duvets.
Ian Brook, Surrey
How sad that so many people sending comments were more concerned about where their next drink was coming from than anything else.
I would like to congratulate the police for their professional way of dealing with this situation. No one should criticise their decision to evacuate the city. I think it's excellent that our local police can work together to keep our city safe.
It was my hen night that my friends and family had gone to great lengths to organise! We were staying at the Hyatt and had just sat down for a meal, the first time we were evacuated it was like a school drill - minor chaos and no real threat. The second time we left prepared and took our wine with us! My friend asked the policeman what was happening and he advised we got out of Birmingham. So we walked and drank - the atmosphere was very calm. We met lots of people who were just walking, not sure where but walking! Luckily my friends parent were able to collect us, we made the most of a bad situation and went out in Bromsgrove - certainly a hen night to remember!
Susan Holland, Northants
It was strange to be ordered off the bus at Camp Hill because of a bomb scare and yet advised to walk into the middle of Birmingham. I was a little concerned about the severity of the reports but felt reassured by the total lack of police presence while walking through Deritend towards the Bull Ring, with other buses and cars still winding through Birmingham at 8pm. I spoke to a police officer at about 8.15pm, who assured me it wasn't a bomb scare but a suspect package. I met some friends in Bennetts, managed to grab 2 pints, and drink a couple of bottles outside with no hassle. Unfortunately they had to close at half nine.
I don't understand why the bars in the middle of Birmingham were affected as I understood the only areas to be affected to be evacuated were China Town and Broad Street. But close they did, as they thought the police asked them to close, while the police said they didn't ask them to close. So here the group was at 9.30pm walking right through the middle of Birmingham, with a few police just standing around not actually ushering anybody in any direction. I'm left with feelings of frustration and anger, and concern. If it was safe in the middle of Birmingham City Centre, why did everywhere close? If it wasn't safe, why weren't the police doing more? And why were people still allowed to walk through Birmingham? A great deal of confusion, but ultimately support for the police and support for how the situation was handled because I don't believe there was too much panic so everyone remained calm.
Simon Dean, Birmingham, UK
I was at Colmore Row waiting for my bus when we were told by a man that the buses weren't running from there. We were told to get our bus from Broad Street but the buses were stopped. The street was then closed and loads of people were being evacuated out of the street. Police told us that we were at a high risk of danger and wouldn't let us out towards Hagley Road. Me and my cousin Reena luckily got out of the city centre, we decided to walk another route and when it was safe got someone to pick us up. Thankfully the police helped us as much as they could and we were safely sent away from Broad Street.
Amita Sharma, Rowley Regis
We were out on my stag night, we had managed to get one drink in the hotel when we were told to evacuate Broad Street. We moved on to China town where we managed to sink a few more beers before being told to evacuate the city centre. We had to walk a number of miles before we spotted a Spar where we managed to pick up some beer to carry on the night. We managed to get family to pick us up and take us to Solihull where we had a fantastic night. West Midlands police deserve a big thank you from everyone in Birmingham on Saturday night, they controlled the evacuation and managed to keep people calm. Better to miss out on one night than the rest of your life!
Nick Pritchard, Warwick
A couple of my friends and I went out for the evening to Starcity. On our way back, the bus 66 on which we were onboard asked us to step out as the city centre was closed off. We got to town at about 8:00 to what looked like a ghost-city. My neighbour and I had to walk about 4 miles back to our homes. Very tiring indeed!
Muna Ahmed, Birmingham
I was at the Crescent Theatre on Saturday and we were evacuated 5-10 minutes before the end of the play - most frustrating. However, the cast of 3 finished the performance for us in the street, which made it a memorable evening. My thanks and compliments to the cast and staff at the theatre.
I was at the Academy in Birmingham watching Funeral for a Friend, the other side of the city to Broad Street, but very close to Corporation Street where the controlled explosions were. It was very scary to walk out of the club and onto a deserted Dale End. We were lucky in that we left the Academy before the gig ended and so were able to get back to our car and out of the City (albeit slowly), as by all accounts the venue was evacuated just after we left and everyone was taken the other side of the cordon, which would have meant we were unable to return to our car. I live in Northampton now, but grew up in Birmingham and consider it my true home. Seeing your usually-bustling home city, completely deserted, is enough to make you feel like the world just ended - I can't thank the emergency services enough, they did an absolutely fantastic job and are a real credit to the UK's second city.
Jodie, Northampton, UK
Whilst I admit it must have been a difficult situation for the police, being told to 'make your way home' wasn't much help to someone who was from Yorkshire and was staying in a hotel in the city. The actual hotel wasn't even evacuated but we weren't allowed to go back. After wandering around the Ring Road until about 2.00am we were finally told to make our way to Aston University. Again, no help as to how to get there from the police. There were stories of people being ripped off by taxi drivers (I even got in a Private Hire car right in front of the police that hadn't been pre-booked, which is illegal). All in all, a bit of a shambles.
David Atkinson, Bradford
My partner and I were in Birmingham all Saturday. I thought the situation seemed to develop quite slowly - the police seemed quite relaxed until they suddenly told us we needed "to leave as quickly as possible". After that we had to walk about 4 miles until the roads were clear enough to get in a taxi. In that time it was rather alarming to see Bomb Squad and special police rushing around and forcing their way through road blocks. However, I also think the police did a very good job and were as helpful as was possible in the given situation. They were forced to make a difficult decision and I fully agree with the decision they took. Better safe than sorry.
I was unaware of the threat until I came out of The Gallows at about 22.45. No one had been in to tell us to evacuate. As we walked through Birmingham we realised something was very wrong. It was almost surreal as the streets were like a ghost town. We got to Snow Hill and a guy was smashing a shop window. We told the police but they said "We have more to worry about. There are three bombs in the city." It was a strange, scary and disturbing experience.
Kevin Orchard, Stourbridge
I am old enough to remember the Birmingham bombings in the 70s and in the light of last week's atrocity in London. For those of you caught up in the evacuation on Saturday night who have complained of the inconvenience - better one Saturday night spoilt than being dead or maimed for life, eh?
Maxine Still, Birmingham
I was walking by the cinema on Broad Street at about 7.30pm when the initial evacuation started. I tried walking into town at around 10pm. There were crowds of people walking down the main road from Broad Street, a bride and groom sat on the side of the road as all the hotels had been evacuated. You could still get to Ladywood in a round about fashion. It makes you admire the policemen and women who had to stay in place to block the roads as they were potentially risking lives.
Malcolm Campbell, Birmingham
We didn't hear anything until 8.30 when we were denied a taxi to Summer Row from Harborne so we decided to drive to our friend's house behind Broad St; obviously not knowing the seriousness of the situation. It wasn't until we got there and opened a bottle of my birthday champagne that they announced the actual evacuation on BBC News 24 so it was all "GO GO GO". My friend packed a bag and a frenzied rescue mission ensued with us thankfully managing to find a back road out to Harborne - only to find the pubs evacuated there too. It was all very dramatic with an amazing sense of urgency and on reflection has made us all feel quite humble. So many people in this world experience infinitely more terror than this on a daily basis. It makes you realise how small you are.
I caught a train from New Street early on Sunday morning, a couple of hours after the cordons were removed and you'd have been hard pressed to notice that there had been an incident at all. People were going about their business, everything appeared to be running as normal with no sense of danger or panic. It's easy to take this for granted; I'm sure the emergency planners are to be congratulated.
My friends and I were out on Saturday in Birmingham. The club we were in closed early and after leaving we discovered Birmingham city centre was closed. We were due to catch a coach home but the bus station was closed. The police just told us to walk out of the city and find our own way home. They didn't really offer any help just to keep walking.. We had to get a taxi to Birmingham International to catch our coach and arrived home at 8 on Sunday morning. Our night was cut short, however we still had a good night.
Daniel Roberts, Wolverhampton/Stoke
The reactions of the public and the police in the Birmingham incident show control and calm, which will always defeat terrorism.
John Rogers, ex Brummie, now Milton Keynes
We were in Centenary Square at a concert - the highlight of the Birmingham Jazz Festival. The area was cleared twice; first at about 7.30 and then at about 8.30. This time we were moved away and finally onto the road. We felt so sorry for people in hotels who, in some cases, had obviously been rapidly evacuated from their baths. Hotel staff went around with robes and slippers for them. Everyone was quite calm, although a wave of worry set in when the Bomb Disposal Squad trucks roared in. Like Londoners, Birmingham folk are stoic and the camaraderie between all of us was a mix of dry humour and 'business as usual'. We lost a good concert, though.
Jon Bates, Kidderminster, Worcestershire
I was at my brother's wedding reception at The Holiday Inn in B'ham city centre; we were evacuated at approx 9.30pm and had to walk out of town leaving all of our belongings at the hotel. We now have to return tomorrow at some point to collect them. Though it ruined my brother and new sister-in-law's day we tried to have fun whilst walking down Bristol Road. It will certainly be a day to remember, even if for some wrong reasons
Susan Pearce, Birmingham
We were performing in 42nd Street at the Birmingham Hippodrome, when we were evacuated due to a security alert. The cast, still in full costume, were evacuated along with others, along Bristol Road. We were told to leave the city centre as soon as possible, but the clothes, phones, money, cars and house-keys of the cast were still in the theatre, and so we've had to do our best to get home safely tonight!
Despite this, the mood remained very calm - a couple had just got married in Birmingham, and so had their 'first dance' in the middle of Bristol Road, accompanied by the 42nd Street Cast, in full costume, singing Lullaby Of Broadway
Jenny & Laura, Birmingham, UK
Yeah, my band was actually half way through playing a set at the Actress and Bishop in Birmingham when we were told to stop and leave due to the bomb threats we'd been hearing about all night, then basically get out of the city... so we did, no blocked roads or anything, it was all cool running. No-one seemed panicky or anything, surprisingly.
Joseph Beech, Bridgnorth, England
I went into Birmingham with a mate, and was surprised to see that everywhere on Broad Street was closed with police saying to evacuate. Then went to the Harborne (outskirts of B'ham) and that was closed too. I have not seen anything like this in all my life and I have lived in Birmingham for 30 years.
Steve Williams, Birmingham
A very confusing night. We were cleared out of the RISA club at 7:30. The police then completely blocked off the road, before we knew it all the main night spots were blocked out. More than 3000 people walking confused around the streets; police weren't helpful at all, no information was given on what was going on.
Ragubir Dhiman, Birmingham
I was evacuated from the Hagley Road area of Birmingham at approximately 9.15 this evening. Everything was very calm and controlled. I was hoping to attend a school reunion however one of our colleagues had issues getting through the city centre at 7.40 pm, but managed to get a taxi to the outskirts of the city where we were meeting. Only for the evacuation zone to be expanded and we were requested to evacuate the restaurant; we were drinking, and 5 minutes later we were advised to go home.
Donna Roberts, Birmingham
We were enjoying 42nd Street at the Hippodrome when the theatre was evacuated. No-one complained or seemed too worried, and everyone moved out of the theatre in a very calm and orderly way. The cast had to leave the stage and were seen outside the theatre in their costumes! We could not reach our car as it was in a secure car park, and had to walk 2 miles out of the city to a friend's house. The spirit amongst fellow walkers was very jovial, and no-one seemed to mind that their evening had been cut short.
Having only arrived in the centre at around 21:00 only to find Broad Street closed and several thousand people huddled into one end of Centenary Square, we were encouraged towards the Jewellery Quarter. With all the bars there overflowing onto the roads and park area nearby, a swift 1.5 hour wait for a taxi finished off the night. To be fair, the general mood was high, everyone seemed intent on making the most of the night.
Luke C, Birmingham
I was on my way to work when I got turned back by police cars with loudspeakers. Then, with hundreds of other people, I had to walk back out of town, along the Pershore Road, to the nearest buses. Lots of people were talking about finding somewhere else to drink - no one seemed particularly worried.
Sarah, Birmingham, UK
We got to town about 7.40pm, our bus got turned back. We got off but the police helicopter and seeing the bomb disposal unit made us get back on a bus out of there.
Paul Beebe, Birmingham
Got quite worried about how I was going to get home from a pub in Selly Oak when I live in Perry Barr. Sorry: that's not very exciting, is it? It was pretty alarming, though - especially when some idiot let off fireworks, as explosions from the general direction of the city centre was NOT what we needed to hear right then.
Lorna, Birmingham, UK
I was working in Pitcher and Piano bar in Birmingham's Brindley Place.
Initially we were told to evacuate the bar at around 7:45pm; although all the local bars were cleared people were still allowed to continue drinking outside the bars - until police informed us we must leave the city centre immediately as there has been a substantial threat to our wellbeing. On that note i cleared the remaining people from the outside of our bar and walked down Broad Street to pick up my car.
The atmosphere was very relaxed, with people pouring out of bars clubs pubs and hotels. I drove down my normal route but by this time they began to close roads - I was lucky enough to find a route out and was home pretty quick. Some of my friends however are still stuck in the city centre - not allowed to return to their cars.
Although my staff and I remained calm through out there was a clear aspect of fear in the eyes of the customers as i told them they must now leave.
Wayne Roe, Birmingham, England
No bombs went off, But it scared the hell out of me and I for one will be staying away from public transport till I feel safe in this world.
Andy Marshall, Birmingham, Sutton Coldfield, Aged 16.
My husband and son arrived in Birmingham this evening to attend a trade exhibition and are caught up in the evacuation. They cannot reach their hotel and are sitting out in a park on a roundabout near the city centre.
Maureen Johnson, Huddersfield UK
I work in Brindley Place on Broad Street and our call centre was evacuated at about 19:45 We waited for about 15 minutes at our meeting point but when the police said it was probably for the best that we evacuated the city then I found the nearest taxi and went home.
Given recent events I found it unusual that people were casually still outside the bars on Broad Street happily sipping their drinks.
Neal Mooney, Birmingham, England
You are going to get a lot of that now, just like in the 70's and 80's.But I hope they can just carry on with there normal life like we did then. And I hope that if anyone phones in a false bomb threat for a laugh they will be put in jail for the max time. So let's see Brummies put a brave face on, show everyone they will not be scared and change how they live.
Tony O'Keefe, ex-Brummie now Ottawa, Canada
I was at the Funeral for a Friend gig at Birmingham Academy. After the last song a tannoy announcement said "there's been a bomb scare, please exit as soon as possible, cross the road and exit the city centre quickly". So we got out, go to my car, luckily we got out the car park okay, but, trying to find the road back to Kidderminster we kept finding roads cordoned off by police. Looking down Broad Street was very strange. They must have evacuated the thousands of people within half an hour, because it was a ghost town. I have never seen any part of Birmingham so empty ever before. I think the police have done an excellent job evacuating the city centre in such an efficient and calm manner, and the training and expertise gained since 9/11 really shows. The gig was good too!
David Crookson, Kidderminster, UK
Quite a few friends who live in the city centre have been unable to return to their homes due to the ring road and certain areas being shut... so for them, it has been a bit of a nightmare, what with the gridlock and the uncertainty over what will happen.
We were in Brindley Place at about 7.30pm when the first evacuation occurred of AllBarOne. We then went to a Jazz concert in Centenary Square, which was evacuated at spot on 8pm, although we were allowed back in. At around 8.35 the venue was evacuated for good, although we were not told to go home. I spoke to a chap stood outside the Copthorne Hotel, who seemed to be the manager, or in any case in the know. His understanding was that the police had begun from Brindley Place, and were evacuating the whole Broad Street area. We left via New Street Station.
Jim Gumbley, Birmingham, UK
I was evacuated from work at the Mailbox at about 8.30. Information was very confused and the evacuation was slow, people all over the city centre were very calm and orderly. I had to walk out of town and get a lift from friends outside town. I have to say that seeing Birmingham with almost no traffic and hundreds of people just walking out of the city in the middle of main roads was an amazing sight.
Well these suspect bombs in Birmingham certainly bring it a lot closer to home for us Midlanders.
Living in the Midlands you always assume that you're safe and out of harm's way; clearly we are not anymore
Mike Little, Stoke-on-Trent, England
The way the situation has been handled couldn't be better and is a credit to the emergency services and the people of Birmingham
James Walter, Birmingham UK
I had a phone call from a friend who was unable to go home after the police closed all roads to the city centre. I had to go and collect him to spend the night with me. It took me at least 90 minutes to get back home.
Nader Yakoub, Sheldon, Birmingham
After leaving a concert at the Midlands Arts Centre it took us over an hour to get home because of the inner city centre being cordoned off. It usually takes us 20 minutes. Although there was a lot of traffic every one was calm.
Paddy Nicholson, Coleshill, Nr Birmingham England
It was a surreal exodus of people, bemused and mildly disappointed, rather like a massive office fire drill. No sense of actual danger, just farce.
Christian Browning, Birmingham
I was working in the Mailbox on a nightshift. We saw people being evacuated from the bars and we got the call to leave at 22:20. We had to walk 2 miles to the safe limit outside the centre. All roads leading to the city were closed but traffic was minimal. Everyone was calm and seem to be enjoying the moment even though we knew the situation was tense.
It is unfortunate that a fun filled Saturday night transpired into a city on lockdown. The atmosphere that pervaded across Birmingham city centre this evening was slightly tense and anxious, understandably so given this weeks horrific events. So maybe it spoilt your night, there are many more to celebrate. Even if tonight's evacuation by the police force provoked a somewhat excessive sense of hysteria, in cases like this it is better to be safe than sorry.
Laura Mackenzie, Birmingham, UK
I've just come home from the city centre. About nine o clock I got into the city centre and saw Broad Street in the early stages of the scare. There was more a feeling of confusion than fear. I followed and left Broad Street to a pub just a fair distance away. As the evening wore on we began to hear rumours about a controlled explosion and that more of the city was being grid locked. Me and my friends eventually decided to leave and were caught in a mass movement of people leaving the centre. It was calm but I was feeling edgy. Especially when I saw abandoned cars in the middle of the road. However my thanks must go to West Midlands Police for handling the situation calmly and effectively.
Matt , Birmingham
As I work in one of the major clubs on Broad Street, this has affected me greatly. Whilst I finished and left at 1900, I rang my friends there as soon as I learnt what had happened. They assured me that they were all out fine, however I have mixed feelings of fear, anger and sadness. I'm still very concerned for the safety of my friends, along with all other staff from the other bars along Broad Street.
I hope all goes well tonight, and we cannot let this beat us.
I was at UGC on Broad Street when they stopped the movie and said they had a situation and to evacuate the building. Once outside they said get as far away as possible from any glass windows, then told us to go into the Five Ways roundabout.
Josh, Birmingham, UK
I'm one of the cast members of 42nd Street, the show that was performing at the Birmingham Hippodrome when the city centre was evacuated. We were all preparing to go on stage for 'We're in the Money', when the house lights came on and the audience were informed that they were to leave the building due to 'circumstances beyond our control'. We later heard that the theatre had been on alert for around an hour after police warnings, but we were not evacuated till around 9pm.
Therefore we were all evacuated onto the street, in 'We're in the Money' costumes, shiny with lots of sequins and skimpy outfits for the girls as you'd imagine. We were gradually moved away from the area, taking around 20 minutes to evacuate the audience entirely.
It was around 9:30pm where, after meeting my mother and sister who were in the audience, we decided we should leave for home, and luckily the car was accessible. Most people involved in the show or in the audience were parked in one of the nearby car-parks which had all been abandoned or shut down for the time being.
Since, I have been unable to contact any other cast members on my arrival home and imagine they are all walking to Edgbaston Cricket ground to catch buses etc. It is a terrific shame for the BMOS Theatre company who had sold well for the final performance, with a party and karaoke planned afterwards.
Joe Harry Lycett, UK, Birmingham
I live right on the edge of the cornered off area...it's madness...the streets and roads are filled with cars on one side and dead on the other. It's like something out of a film
Tequila Woods, Birmingham
I am sitting at 11.35pm in an apartment block within the evacuated area with police standing outside and no idea what to do. We haven't yet been evacuated ourselves but have seen the cordon gradually move out towards us. I'm expecting a bang on the door at any moment.
Dr Richard Maude, Birmingham
Was watching a gig in Birmingham - brilliant night spoilt by the fact of terrorism threats in the city a scary thing to hear when you're there!
We were evacuated from Broad Street, the police were brilliant and made us feel safe. I cannot thank them enough for the professional way they have been dealing with this as it could have been so much different
Neil Young, Birmingham
We were in The Brasshouse in Brindley Place on Broad Street and were evacuated there at 1945. We walked towards New Street and found every other bar/restaurant/cafe also evacuating. Eventually we walked home as it was clear there was not going to be anywhere open for the rest of the night!!
Jamie Holland, Birmingham, UK
The streets are empty, the roads gridlocked. it is so unusual to see Birmingham like this it is scary even without all of the bomb threats. We were waiting for something like this to happen but i don't think anyone imagined it to be quite as terrifying as it was.
Sasha, Birmingham, England
I was in the cinema at the top of Broad Street watching War of the Worlds and the film had barely got 20 minutes in when the film turned off and the alarms went off. We came outside to see all of Broad Street being evacuated and everyone was being told to head up the top past the cinema. we were stuck for about two hours as the cars were gridlocked and we had to wait to get our car before we could leave. everyone was calm and once we knew it was a bomb scare everyone just accepted it and made plans away from Broad Street to not cause a bother to the police and let them get on with their job and make it easier for them.
Paul Quinn, Birmingham
I don't know if the threat was real or maybe a bit exaggerated but it feels good to see that police across the country are on their guards. London services did a tremendous job. Well done to Midlands Police not to take any risks. That shows terrorists this country will not fall in their hands.
Ronan, London UK
I was in Birmingham in the Bull Ring when I heard about the alert. I had to walk out of Birmingham centre a short while to catch a bus to get home, but my boyfriend had to walk quite a way out as buses had stopped running. Watching hundreds of people leaving the city as police cars, ambulances and helicopters went into brum was worrying.
Louise Le Cornu, Birmingham, UK
Birmingham City Centre is chaos, been evacuated from the Mailbox where I work, everyone is calm though. Everything just has an eerie feel about it.
R Bell, B'ham
I was in a cafe in the Arcadian centre in Birmingham. The centre's fire alarm went off at approximately 7.40pm. After a couple of minutes of people ignoring the alarms we all left the centre and congregated on the road outside. We walked away from the centre through Hurst Street where everyone had left the bars and they had closed their doors. No panic, just people taking their drinks out onto the street on a summer's evening.
Simon Smith, Leamington Spa, UK
I was caught up in the confusion on broad street. outside the Hyatt hotel about 8.15 pm.
After about 40 mins of waiting we were allowed to go back inside the buildings, but were again 10 mins later told to evacuate.
The city streets were turned into a ghost town, within minutes. But the public were very confused as to what was happening! Amazingly everyone was very calm.
Satnam Raindi, Birmingham.