Belfast Telegraph

Man arrested as Londonderry security alert declared elaborate hoax

Police are at the scene. Credit: Leona O'Neill
Police are at the scene. Credit: Leona O'Neill

A man has been arrested in connection with a security alert in Londonderry overnight.

The alert at Beechwood Avenue in Londonderry began at 8.25pm on Monday after it was reported to police that a suspicious object was located in an alleyway in the area.

The area was then cordoned off, roads were closed and nearby buildings evacuated.

The bomb squad attended the scene and an object, described as an elaborate hoax, was taken away for further examination.

Roads were then reopened and residents returned to their homes shortly after 3am.

One man, aged 41, was arrested in relation to the alert and remains in police custody after being detained under the Terrorism Act.

Inspector Spence said: “The alert caused considerable disruption to local residents and I would like to thank anyone affected for their patience whilst we worked to ensure their safety.

"Enquiries are continuing to establish the circumstances surrounding this incident and police would appeal to anyone who witnessed anything suspicious in the area to contact them on 101, quoting reference number 1822 14/10/19. Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.”

SDLP councillor John Boyle said: "It is absolutely disgraceful that a number of residents, mostly elderly were evacuated from their homes last night.

“I have been in the area all night and residents were not able to return to their homes until the early hours of the morning. Clearly those behind this disruption have a blatant disregard for the community.

“There is no justification whatsoever for this type of behaviour. I would appeal to anyone with any information to call the PSNI or Crimestoppers.”

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