Residents return to homes in middle of night after security alert was sparked by ‘elaborate hoax’

The scene in Antrim. Picture: Steven McAuley, McAuley Multimedia

RESIDENTS were allowed back into their homes at 2.30am on Tuesday after a security alert near Antrim PSNI Station was declared an “elaborate hoax” by police.

Detectives are conducting enquiries following the alert which began on Monday evening.

Inspector Neil Patton said: “Just before 7pm on Monday evening, police received a report from a member of the public of a suspicious object, which they had discovered at the entrance to Castle Grounds facing Antrim PSNI station.

“The area was then cordoned off, roads closed and nearby residents evacuated from their homes. The alert continued for a number of hours whilst ATO examined the object which they later determined to be an elaborate hoax.

“Roads were re-opened and residents permitted back to their homes by 2.30am. The object has been removed and taken for further examination.”

Inspector Patton continued: “This alert caused considerable disruption to local residents and road users in Antrim and I would like to thank anyone affected for their patience whilst we worked to ensure their safety.

“We are now carrying out an investigation into this incident and I would ask anyone who was in the Dublin Road area of Antrim on Monday and who noticed any suspicious activity to contact detectives in Antrim on 101 quoting reference number 1932 16/09/19. 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.”

UPDATE: Inspector Patton said on Tuesday afternoon: “Following further examination of an object discovered at the Dublin Road area of Antrim last night, the incident has been declared as non-suspicious and nothing untoward.

“Police would again like to thank the members of the public for their cooperation and patience during the policing operation.”

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