Those who hijacked a vehicle before planting a hoax device beside Strand Road PSNI Station do not speak for the people of Derry, a local MLA has said.
Sinn Fein MLA Raymond McCartney condemned those who hijacked the car at Quarry Street in the Brandywell area before leaving the device at Bayview Terrace overnight.
A number of local residents in the Bayview and Asylum Road area, including a sheltered housing complex, were evacuated from the area last night and a cordon remained in place along the lower section of the road between the Strand Road entrance and Queen Street this morning.
The alarm was raised last night, shortly after thousands of local children and their families made their way home from the city centre after witnessing the Christmas Lights Switch On.
Mr McCartney said: “I utterly condemn those behind this security alert close to Strand Road PSNI station.
“The owner of the vehicle which was hijacked must have had a traumatic experience.
“This has brought nothing but disruption to a main arterial route and in doing so they have shown total disregard for the people of this city.”
He added: “Derry is a city moving forward and those behind these incidents do not speak for the people.
“They need to call an end to these futile actions once and for all.”
Speaking about the incident PSNI Superintendant Mark McEwan confirmed today: “The security alert began with the discovery of a suspicious object in Bayview Terrace shortly before 10.30pm last night.
“The object was examined by ATO and they have declared it a hoax.
“Further daylight searches are required and will be commencing this morning.
“At this time we are investigating a possible link between the alert and a vehicle hijacking in Quarry Street at around 10pm.”
He added: “The blame for disruption this alert has caused lies squarely with those responsible for leaving the object in Bayview Terrace and I am thankful to local people for their support and cooperation.
“I would ask anyone with information to contact detectives at Strand Road police station by calling the non-emergency number 101. Or, if someone would prefer to provide information without leaving their name they can contact the Crimestoppers charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.”