Belfast searches after bomb threat phone hoax

Police carried out searches in Belfast city center after a phone bomb warning.

the security alert was triggered Tuesday morning. It ended around lunch with the police saying nothing had been found and that they were treating the incident as a hoax.

Police closed Castle Street in Belfast city center earlier Tuesday following a call about a device left in the area.

The street has been closed in both directions between King Street and Queen Street for a while.

Belfast Councilor Gary McKeown called on the hoaxers to “stop interfering in people’s lives”.

“Those behind this security alert which has caused chaos in Belfast city center should be ashamed,” he said.

“Traders are struggling enough to come out of the coronavirus pandemic and now many have been forced to shut down their businesses with buyers evacuated as a result of this alert. It will hit them in the pockets, costing them thousands of dollars in lost trade.

“It also has an impact on the staff and the general public going about their business in the city center. Following this telephone hoax, the whole area had to be cordoned off, which caused a lot of disruption.

“Our city center should be an open and welcoming place for all and scenes like this remind us of our dark past.

“I urge those who perpetrated this hoax to stop and think about what they are really accomplishing. All they do is make life difficult for traders and the public who just want to keep going.

“This type of behavior must be condemned by all and those behind it must be brought to justice to deter other similar incidents in the future.”

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

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

“The cords have now been lifted and I want to thank everyone who has been hampered for their patience as we work to keep the area safe. “

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