Stolen car sparked '14th alert in month'

Published Monday, 14 October 2013
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Police said "nothing untoward" was found inside a stolen vehicle at the centre of a security alert on the M1, which caused traffic chaos across Belfast.

Stolen car sparked '14th alert in month'
Police closed the M1 due to a security alert. (© Pacemaker)

The army bomb squad was called after an abandoned car was reported near the Blacks Road off-slip just after 2am on Monday.

Diversions were in place for most of the morning, including rush hour.

Following examinations police revealed that the car, which had earlier been reported missing in the Lisburn area, did not contain any suspicious objects.

A statement confirmed: "The vehicle was reported stolen in the Lisburn area. Nothing untoward was found in the vehicle that has been taken away for further examination."

The alert is now over and the motorway has been reopened in both directions.

At the height of rush hour, traffic heading into the city was tailed back as far as Lurgan, while the disruption also had knock-on effects on many minor routes around the road closures.

There was also a separate security alert on the Westlink earlier, which similarly ended after police found "nothing untoward" in the area.

The alerts are the latest in a series of incidents this month - 14 in the Belfast area alone.

Local business leaders said it is causing misery for shoppers and staff trying to get into work, and is having a bad impact on the Northern Ireland economy.

"Small traders who have only four of five staff are particularly hard hit by this type of idiotic hoax," explained Glyn Roberts of NIIRTA.

"We are fast approaching the Christmas shopping season and given the events of last year, this disruption is the very last thing struggling City Centre Traders need.

"The sooner those behind these hoaxes are caught and convicted, the better for all"

Local SDLP councillor Tim Attwood said dissidents will not succeed.

Mr Attwood said: "It is clear that this traffic chaos is hitting commuters and business hard. However the message is plain, the IRA did not succeed in their bombing campaign and dissidents will not succeed either.

"The reality is the overwhelming majority of people are opposed to their activities and want to see a more prosperous and peaceful Belfast."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
28 Comments
Sam1690 in Ballysillan, Ríocht Aontaithe wrote (280 days ago):
@ulysses32 the Fiscal damage done by "fleg-gate" to Belfast Traders pales in insignificance when compared to the impact of 14 bomb alerts and two murders around the time of an "Inward Investment Conference" funded by Stormont, trying to get U.S.A. investors to use our skilled workers and tradesmen. The disorder that occurred at "fleg-gate" cannot be justified, but I'd rather have people demonstrating on a road peacefully and legally than the police having to seal a large "Operational Area" because they know some "Knuckle Dragging Neanderthals" are chasing some lost 'ideological cause'... How impartial is the "MODERATION PROCESS"?
Sam1690 in Ballysillan wrote (280 days ago):
David in Belfast, "The Hole In The, Wall Gang" said this is an island, and that's what they're doing,
David in BELFAST wrote (280 days ago):
The police and MI5 know who most of these dissident republicans are who are causing these disruptions. Is it not about time that the authorities disrupted THEIR activities. Round them all up and their supporters, take them to a deserted island somewhere and let them fight among themselves leaving the rest of us to go about our lives in peace.
Bewildered in Belfast wrote (281 days ago):
Martin McGuinness "Alienating the People ain't smart"... you couldn't make this up!
Steve in Lisburn wrote (281 days ago):
Billy in Ballybeen. Why do people like yourself keep bringing up flag protestors in every news story? The point you made is stupid and wrong anyway as if you read the article it states "Local business leaders said it is causing misery for shoppers and staff trying to get into work, and is having a bad impact on the Northern Ireland economy" Please read articles in full in future to avoid looking like an idiot
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