Belfast Telegraph

The Twelfth: Our businesses are struggling, say traders after latest alert

By Allan Preston

Frightened traders at a north Belfast flashpoint have said they lost money after a security alert yesterday afternoon.

Part of the Crumlin Road was closed in both directions from around 3pm following reports to police of a suspicious object in the area.

Police later said a controlled explosion was carried out on a suspicious object in Brompton Park “which has been declared as nothing untoward”.

Retailers on the Crumlin Road told the Belfast Telegraph they had felt intimidated, saying alerts were regular occurrences which were crippling their business.

One shop owner said she was scared to come to work. “There’s no one taking into consideration how the businesses are being affected,” she said.

“Bomb scares and nightly parades are just killing the trade on the road. I can’t see it getting any better.

“It frightens you to be in your business, you can’t close because it doesn’t look good for customers who use you all-year round and feel intimidated.”

A second trader said she feared she would lose her job by the end of the week as business in the area was constantly disrupted with security alerts and policing of the nearby Twaddell loyalist protest camp.

“It’s terrible, because now we haven’t lifted one penny. People can’t come in and collect their stuff,” she said.

“We’re not going to have a job come Saturday, because of the constant inconvenience round here and people don’t want to come up the road.”

She added: “Maybe it’s just because it’s the Eleventh today. A lot of our customers come from the Protestant side, they’re lovely people, but now they can’t come up to the shop because it’s coming up to the Twelfth.”

Belfast Telegraph

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