An operation launched by authorities after an unexploded World War Two bomb was discovered in Kingston may continue overnight, Scotland Yard has said.

The force adds it’s “not possible to give an accurate timeframe” as to when the operation will be finished after emergency services were called at 9am yesterday morning (May 23).

The bomb discovery, which also caused the Ministry of Defence to get involved, led to parts of Kingston being sealed off and polling stations being evacuated.

However, while the Met understands the disruption which is being caused to residents and businesses, it has stressed that the safety of everyone involved is “paramount”.

Commander Mark McEwan said: “Officers were called to the discovery of a World War Two bomb at a construction site at 9.15am yesterday [May 23].

“A cordon was immediately put in place where it remains around Beaufort Road, Fassett Road, Grove Lane and Grove Crescent.

“At this stage it is not possible to give an accurate timeframe as to when the operation will be concluded; there is a possibility that it may stretch overnight. We are working closely with the military, Kingston Council and emergency service partners and we will update you as and when we have further information.

“We would encourage local residents and business owners to keep monitoring @MPSKingston [Kingston police on Twitter] where we will continue to provide specific updates from the command team who are working around the clock to remove the ordnance.

“We understand that this is causing disruption to local residents and businesses; however we must stress that your safety and the safety of officers and partners is paramount.

“There may also be some ongoing disruption to utilities in the coming week, as a result of dealing with this incident. It is not possible to qualify the degree or extent at this stage.

“We understand the impact this situation is causing the local community and appreciate your ongoing co-operation, patience and understanding.

“Displaced residents are asked to attend the Richard Mayo Centre on Eden Street until 1pm today, (May 24). From 1pm, please go to All Saints Church on Market Place.

“Anyone affected can call Kingston Council contact line on 020 8547 5000. This number will be serviced until 5pm.

“After this time, please call the out of hours number which is 020 8547 5800. This number will be monitored 24/7 over the bank holiday weekend.

“Updates will be provided via @MPSKingston as soon as they are available.”