Northern Ireland news

Police 'reviewing' their response to north Belfast security alert

A security alert at Fortwilliam Parade in north Belfast lasted for several hours yesterday. Picture by Arthur Allison, Pacemaker

POLICE are "reviewing" how they tackled a security alert which saw several homes evacuated hours after a suspicious object was first reported.

The alert was sparked after a resident in Fortwilliam Parade in north Belfast reported hearing a loud bang at around 11pm on Wednesday.

A metal bar was later found in the garden of the house.

The call was made at around 8.30am yesterday.

Police did not attend the scene until just before 2.30pm yesterday. Several homes were then evacuated.

British army bomb disposal experts examined the metal bar and later declared it an "elaborate hoax".

Chief Inspector Helen Garrett said: "Police are currently reviewing how the initial report of this incident was dealt with".

"This incident not only caused great concern to the residents of the property, but also caused disruption for many other local families and the wider community," she said.

She said police are trying to establish a motive for the crime. She appealed to anyone with information to contact the PSNI.

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