A suspicious item which forced the closure of a section of Eaton Drive on Tuesday was “designed to do something”, according to police.

Bomb squad officers were deployed from Perth as local emergency services established a safety perimeter in the area where the item was discovered near the Forrest Highway turn-off.

After hours of anticipation, the bomb squad carefully removed the item – which from a distance looked like a small tin can wrapped in tape – about 2.30pm before it was loaded into a police vehicle and taken away for examination.

Bomb squad officers remove the suspicious item. Picture: Kate Fielding / South Western Times

“There’s been a preliminary examination undertaken by bomb squad and it is now being conveyed to Perth where it will be deconstructed and it will be subject to a full forensic examination,” Australind Police officer-in-charge Sen. Sgt Mark Smith told the South Western Times.

“Clearly, the initial indications are that it was designed to do something, it had a lighting device on it. Whether it was designed to explode or smoke or do something, we just don’t know yet.

“We’ll know more once it’s deconstructed in a controlled environment.”

Emergency services at the Eaton intersection where a suspicious item was reported to police. Picture: Kate Fielding / South Western Times

The item was reported to police by a member of the public who had pulled over to take a closer look and Sen. Sgt Smith said it was not known how long the item was there for.

He was “optimistic” that the test results would provide some lines of inquiry and warned that the manufacture of explosive devices was a serious offence.

“How it’s ended up there, we don’t know – whether it’s been deliberately placed there or whether it’s fallen off a vehicle, we just don’t know that yet,” he said.

“But the facts are that there are serious offences that somebody could be charged with ... serious offences with terms of imprisonment can apply for manufacturing explosive devices.

“It puts a lot of people at risk – the people making it and also ... the community.

Emergency services at the Eaton intersection where a suspicious item was reported to police. Picture: Kate Fielding / South Western Times

“It’s certainly not a laughing matter for those who made it, it’s very serious.”

Sen. Sgt Smith praised the swift response from local emergency services and encouraged the community to report anything suspicious to police.

“We’re well-resourced to deal with these situations, as people would have seen – we have a very strict practice that we have to follow to reduce the risk to everybody involved,” he said.