A SECURITY alert in north Belfast which forced families from their homes has been declared a hoax.
The suspect device was found on Cavehill Road on Monday evening outside a family’s home and close to the rear of Antrim Road PSNI station.
Police sealed off part of the road between Antrim Road and Willowbank Gardens, and evacuated over 30 houses, while the area was made safe. It has since reopened.
The PSNI originally believed a “small bomb” had been found.
However, Army technical officers later examined the suspect object – a carton with wires wrapped round in black tape – declared it an elaborate hoax.
Mick Conlon, whose relatives live in the area, was chatting to a friend when they spotted the suspicious object.
“We noticed what was like a soup carton with black electric tape around it and some wires protruding,” the former Sinn Féin councillor said.
They contacted the police and army bomb experts later carried out a controlled explosion.
Mr Conlon said residents of all ages had been evacuated.
Local Sinn Fein councillor Conor Maskey said people were angry and frustrated.
“It’s a nightmare for them on a cold February night,” he added.
A nearby Presbyterian church was made available to evacuated residents while the alert was ongoing.