22/08/2014

Second L'Derry Alert Declared A Hoax

A suspicious object found inside a hijacked van in Co L'derry has been described as a hoax by police.

At around 8.45pm on Thursday (21 August), the driver of the van was stopped by two men on the Iniscarn Road. One of the men is thought to have been carrying a firearm.

An object was then placed inside the van and the driver was ordered to drive to the Diamond area of the city. The driver abandoned the van at Fanad Drive and contacted police.

It is the second vehicle hijacking in two days in Derry, after a lorry was hijacked in the Galliagh area on Wednesday and a suspicious object placed onboard. The driver, again, was ordered to drive to the police station.

Commenting on Thursday's alert, Chief Inspector Tony Callaghan, Foyle Police Commander, said: "Yet again a man was going about his normal day-to-day work when he was confronted by masked men and ordered to drive with what he was told was a bomb into the city centre.

"A large number of people had to leave their homes last night because of the misguided actions of the people responsible for this incident."

Sinn Féin Councillor Kevin Campbell condemned the incident, saying: "This incident serves no purpose whatsoever and must be condemned. It must have been terrifying experience for the driver of the van to have this happen while going about his normal business.

"Once again those responsible have shown complete disregard for the people of Creggan and the wider city. Residents, many of them elderly, had to be evacuated from their homes while this vehicle was examined. "

He continued: "This has brought nothing but disruption to the area and it is totally unacceptable. The fact that this is the second such hijacking incident in the city in a number of days is very concerning.

"The people of Derry have made it clear they do not what this type of thing. The city is moving forward in an atmosphere of hope and we will not allow it to be dragged back to the past by a tiny minority intent on causing disruption."

(JP/MH)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

04 December 2020
No Further Restrictions Before Christmas
NI's non-essential retail and some parts of the hospitality sector will be allowed to reopen again next Friday, as the current circuit breaker restrictions end at midnight on Thursday 10 December. It follows Stormont talks on Thursday, following which Ministers said that there would not be any new restrictions before Christmas.
25 November 2020
Man Arrested Over Incident At McDonald's In Belfast
A man has been arrested in connection with an incident at McDonald's in Belfast city centre. The arrest was made following an altercation between the man and a security guard at McDonald's on Castle Place. It is understood the man had been asked to leave the restaurant and began arguing with the guard and the situation escalated into a fight.
30 November 2020
Appeal For Information On Pipebomb Incident In L'Derry
Police in L'Derry have issued an appeal for information on an incident at Knockwellan Park in the Waterside area on Saturday 28th November. Making the appeal, Detective Sergeant Richard Donnell said: "Just before 10pm on Saturday night, police received a report that a white transit van, which had been parked in the area, was on fire.
03 December 2020
Belfast City Council Seeks Views On Coronavirus Recovery Plans
The public are being urged to get involved in shaping Belfast's coronavirus recovery plans to help create a better future. Belfast City Council is gathering views from people across the city about how Covid-19 has impacted their communities and their priorities for the future.
30 November 2020
Appeal For Information After 14-Year-Old Seriously Assaulted
The PSNI have issued an appeal for information following the assault of a two teenagers in Randalstown, County Antrim. A 14-year-old boy is being treated in hospital for serious facial injuries he sustained when he was attacked by a number of men at Neillbrook Park at about 21:30 on Saturday 28 November.