The PSNI have said those behind the security alert in Derry on Sunday night had constructed an object to look like a bomb with no regard to the impact on local people.
PSNI Chief Inspector, Paul McCracken, thanked local people for their patience during the operation near Glengalliagh Park, which lasted several hours.
The Glengalliagh Road had been sealed off from St Brigid’s College to Moss Road roundabout throughout the operation, with traffic diverted through the Galliagh Estate.
The device was later declared an ‘elaborate hoax’ and a controlled explosion was carried out by ATO.
Chf. Insp. McCracken said: “I regret the inconvenience and disruption caused to local residents and I would like to thank them for their support and patience during the operation.
“This was a real challenge for us in terms of minimising the impact to the local community whilst keeping people safe from harm.
“It is clear that criminal elements made an object which was made to resemble a bomb and whatever the intention of those who placed this object, it is clear that they wish to instil fear, disrupt the community and attempt to deter the delivery of a policing service to the community.
“Placing this object in a residential area demonstrates clear carelessness and complete disregard for the local people of Derry/Londonderry who are simply trying to go about their day to day lives.”
Police earlier yesterday said the woman who walked past a bomb disposal robot seconds before a controlled explosion was carried out, had been left “shaken but uninjured.”
Foyle Sinn Fein MLA Raymond McCartney condemned the elaborate hoax.
“It’s senseless and serves no purpose except disrupting the lives of local people,” he said.
SDLP Councillor for the area Brian Tierney, meanwhile, said people must be united against attacks on the community.
He said: “While it will be a relief to many that the device was not viable, the stress and disruption caused to the community must be condemned.
“Families have already had to make arrangements to leave their homes late on Sunday evening, instead of being able to get their children ready for the week ahead. This is not the society that we should live in.”
Colr. Tierney said those responsible must “seriously reflect on the damage their actions are causing to our local community.
“It is senseless and irresponsible,” he concluded.