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  1. ITV Report

Homes evacuated in Ballymoney hoax security alert

The scene of the security alert in Ballymoney, Co Antrim. Credit: UTV

Homes have had to be evacuated in Ballymoney due to a security alert sparked by the discovery of a suspicious object, that later turned out to be a hoax.

The object was found in the Raceview Drive area of the Co Antrim town on Friday.

Police attended the scene and the Joey Dunlop Centre on the Garryduff Road had to be opened as a rest centre for affected residents.

North Antrim DUP MLA Mervyn Storey said the situation was “concerning”.

He added: “Those responsible for the device have created disruption for residents in the area.”

Sinn Féin MLA Philip McGuigan also condemned those responsible.

“No one in the community wants this type of incident and those responsible have nothing to offer society and should end these futile actions immediately," he said.

Later on Friday, police confirmed that the alert had ended and been declared an elaborate hoax.

PSNI Chief Inspector Ian Magee said: “In order to ensure the safety of local residents, people from around 50 houses were evacuated earlier. They are now returning to their homes.

“Local people, including children trying to make their way home from school, have been greatly inconvenienced. And I’d like to thank all of those people for their patience and cooperation."

He added: “I’m also appealing to anyone with information about this incident, to get in touch on 101.

“Alternatively, information can 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.”