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Belfast searches after telephone bomb warning hoax

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There is a report of a suspicious device in Castle Street.

There is a report of a suspicious device in Castle Street.

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Castle Street is closed due to a security alert

Castle Street is closed due to a security alert

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Motorists have been advised to avoid Castle Street.

Motorists have been advised to avoid Castle Street.

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

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There is a report of a suspicious device in Castle Street.

Police carried out searches in Belfast city centre after a telephone bomb warning.

A security alert swung into operation on Tuesday morning. It finished around lunch with police saying nothing has been found and they are treating the incident as a hoax.

Police closed Castle Street in Belfast city centre earlier on Tuesday as a result of a call about a device left in the area.

The street was closed in both directions between King Street and Queen Street for a period of time.

Belfast councillor Gary McKeown called for those behind the hoax to “stop interfering with people's lives”.

“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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“It also impacts staff and the general public just going about their business in the city centre. Following this hoax telephone call the whole area had to be cordoned off and this caused widespread disruption.

"Our city centre should be an open and welcoming place to all and scenes like this harken back to our dark past.

“I would urge those who carried out this hoax to stop and think about what they are actually achieving. All they are doing is making life difficult for traders and the public who just want to get on with things.

"This type of behaviour must be condemned by all and those behind it brought to justice to discourage other similar incidents in the future.“

In a statement, the PSNI said: “Police conducted searches following a telephone warning that a device had been left in the Castle Street area earlier today (Tuesday 27 July).

“Nothing was found during the searches and the incident is being treated as a hoax.

“Cordons have now been lifted, and I am keen to thank all those inconvenienced for their patience as we worked to ensure the area was safe.”


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