30/03/2011

Belfast Security Alert Raised In Parliament

Amid hopes that the ongoing security alert currently keeping many families from returning to their homes in north Belfast will end, DUP Deputy Leader, Nigel Dodds MP has raised the issue in Parliament.

Mr Dodds asked the Prime Minister to commit to ensuring that the police would have all the resources they require to tackle the dissident Republican terrorists.

He also asked the PM to affirm that the forthcoming election would afford the people of Northern Ireland the opportunity to reject the terrorists, who have "no support within the wider north Belfast community".

Mr Dodds commented: "They speak for no-one and have no popular support. Northern Ireland has made significant progress in the past few years both in terms of security and politics. No sane person wants that progress to be lost. That is why it is essential that the police receive the resources they need to thwart the dissident republicans' murderous intent," he said.

Up to 200 families have been evacuated from their homes in Oldpark while Army bomb experts carried out controlled explosions on a suspicious device.

Shortly after Mr Dodd's spoke in Parliament in London, the PSNI announced that the security alert was a deliberate hoax.
News Image
A man in his 30s has been arrested under terrorism legislation and is being questioned at Antrim PSNI station in connection with making a hoax call.

PSNI superintendent Amanda Cooke said that while she apologised for the inconvenience "police cannot and will not take risks with the lives of people in our community".

She added: "Had there been a device, there could have been devastating consequences had it exploded. Once again our community has been disrupted and the lives of residents put at risk by a cowardly element intent on causing as much disruption as they can."

The DUP Deputy Leader also commended the police for the thoroughness with which they dealt with the incident and condemned those responsible for creating it and added: "The contempt these terrorists have for the ordinary people of North Belfast is clear. They care nothing for human life, nor the disruption they cause to peoples lives.

The people of Northern Ireland are determined that we will not be dragged back in to the dark days of the past, where these criminals want to take us.

"We are all united in our desire that they will not succeed. We will continue to fight to ensure that the police have all the resources that they need to tackle this threat."

See: Controlled Explosions In North Belfast Alert

(JG/GK)

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