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Hoax bomb planted under policeman's car in Millreagh, Dundonald

By Erinn Kerr

Published 01/01/2016

Police at the scene of a security alert in the Millreagh Avenue area of Dundonald
Police at the scene of a security alert in the Millreagh Avenue area of Dundonald

A security alert on the outskirts of Belfast that resulted in many homes being evacuated has been declared a hoax.

Police said a suspicious object was found in the Millreagh Avenue area of Dundonald on Wednesday. It is understood the suspect item was discovered under a policeman's car.

Army bomb disposal experts carried out a controlled explosion while people were asked to evacuate their homes. The alert was later declared a hoax.

TUV Castlereagh East councillor Andrew Girvin condemned those involved in the fake bomb scare and urged anyone with information to contact the PSNI.

"While people are spending time with their families, and as we prepare to welcome the New Year, this is a stark reminder of the evil of terrorism," he said.

Mr Girvin explained that while the object had been declared a hoax by police, it had nonetheless created much disturbance for families over the Christmas break. "I am going to find out more about this object because it may not have been a viable device, but it still caused chaos in a heavily residential area and someone has been targeted," he added. "I would suggest that there is something more sinister going on, and I intend to find out what."

Mr Girvin said the people affected were frustrated and afraid to have a bomb scare on their doorsteps. "Something like this is terrible at any time, but families were in the midst of celebrating," he added.

"The people of Dundonald do not want this kind of thing and they are angry."

East Belfast DUP MLA Robin Newton said: "As we come to the end of 2015 and get ready to enter the New Year, those who are prepared to create hoax bomb alerts have nothing positive to offer our society."

Earlier this week, it was revealed there have been almost 700 security alerts in the past three years. Nearly two decades after the Good Friday Agreement, there are still an average of four bomb scares every week.

Police figures showed there had been 680 security alerts here since January 2013. In the first 10 months of the year, 202 alerts were recorded.

Experts dealt with 151 viable devices between January 2013 and October this year.

There were a further 529 hoax alerts across Northern Ireland in the same period.

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