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​Update on the investigation into the Novichok attack in Salisbury

News   •   Sep 25, 2019 17:01 BST

Counter Terrorism detectives can today, 25 September, confirm that forensic tests carried out on blood samples, which were taken from a small number of people back in March 2018, have found no traces of Novichok.

The individuals concerned were contacted by detectives last month to seek their permission in order to carry out the forensic tests on the blood samples. This was done after similar tests confirmed this summer that traces of the nerve agent were present in a blood sample (also taken at the time) from a second Wiltshire police officer.

The officer, who does not wish to be identified, was the fourth person to be confirmed through forensic testing as a victim of the initial Salisbury attack. The higher levels of exposure to Novichok suffered by Sergei and Yulia Skripal and Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey led to them falling critically or seriously ill.

Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley also suffered high levels of exposure to Novichok following the incident in Amesbury in June 2018. Tragically, Dawn died some days later, whilst Charlie also became critically ill.

These forensic tests have been carried out as part of what remains an ongoing investigation, which has been unprecedented in its complexity and scale and has involved thousands of exhibits. Officers continue to work closely with scientists and experts to meticulously and methodically review and examine the evidence available to us.

As stated previously, public health experts have confirmed that there is no change to the overall public health risk, which remains low. However, should anyone have any concerns, then they can contact the NHS by calling 111.

As we made clear from the outset, public health and safety has always been a priority for everyone involved in the multi-agency response to the events in Salisbury and Amesbury.

As previously stated, two men known as ‘Alexander Petrov’ and ‘Ruslan Boshirov’ are wanted by UK police after the Crown Prosecution Service authorised charges against the pair, linked to the attack on Sergei and Yulia Skripal and Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey. We believe they were using aliases and European Arrest Warrants and Interpol Red Notices remain in circulation for the two men.

We continue to appeal to the public for any information regarding these two men whilst they were in the UK between 2 March and 4 March 2018. Anyone who knows them or saw them should call police in confidence on 0800 789 321 or email

At its height, around 250 detectives from across the CTP network have worked on the investigation into the attack on the Skripals and poisoning of Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley in Amesbury.

The investigation remains ongoing, and there are parts of the picture that we are continuing to piece together. We continue to urge anyone who has information that they have not yet passed to police to do so. In particular, we are keen to hear from anyone who may have seen the counterfeit ‘Nina Ricci’ perfume box or bottle that was recovered from Charlie Rowley’s address in July 2018.

We cannot account for the whereabouts of the bottle, nozzle or box between the attack on the Skripals on 4 March 2018 and when Charlie Rowley said he found it on 27 June 2018. Anyone who saw this pink box or glass bottle during this time is asked to call police in confidence on 0800 789 321 or email