Northern Ireland news

Belfast city centre alert declared a hoax

Police carried out searches after a telephone warning that a device had been left in the Castle Street area of Belfast. Picture by Hugh Russell.
Connla Young

A SECURITY alert in Belfast has been declared a hoax.

Shops and business premises in the Castle Street area were evacuated after a telephone warning claimed a device had been left in the city centre location.

The street was later cordoned off an members of the public were asked to avoid the area.

A spokesman for the PSNI later said: “Nothing was found during the searches and the incident is being treated as a hoax."

SDLP Belfast councillor Gary McKeown hit out at those behind the hoax.

“Those behind this security alert which caused chaos in Belfast city centre should be ashamed," he said.

"Traders have it hard enough after just emerging from the coronavirus pandemic and now many were forced to close their businesses with shoppers evacuated as a result of this alert.

"This will hit them in the pockets, costing them thousands in lost trade."

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Northern Ireland news