POLICE have condemned as ‘reckless’ the placing of a suspicious device onto a vehicle which was then unwittingly driven for around 14 miles through County Antrim.
Detectives are appealing for information after the discovery of a suspicious device which sparked a security alert in Crumlin last night (Thursday, 16th January).
Detective Inspector Stephen Harvey said: “We received a report at approximately 8:05pm that a device was discovered wedged into the front grill of a vehicle parked in the Lurgan Road area, close to the junction of Maple Park in Crumlin.
“Our officers and ATO attended the scene, and a public safety operation was implemented. As part of this operation, a number of residents were evacuated from their homes.
“The device was taken away for further examination and I can confirm it contained component parts which, had the device been detonated, would have made it viable.
“We are following a number of lines of enquiry. One is that this device may have been placed on the vehicle on the Falls Road, in the area of the Kennedy Centre, in west Belfast sometime earlier in the day and the vehicle was then driven to the Lurgan Road area where the device was subsequently discovered.
“This was a reckless act by the person or persons responsible for placing this device on the vehicle, which travelled close to 14 miles before it was spotted.
“This incident caused disruption to a number of families who had to leave their homes while we worked to make the area safe, and I want to thank those affected for their patience and co-operation.
“I am appealing to anyone who may have been in the Falls Road area between 9am and 6pm on Thursday 16th January and saw anything out of the ordinary, or anyone acting suspiciously to call us on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference 1665 of 16/12/20.”
Alternatively, information can also be given anonymously through the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”