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Air support called in as police voice frustration over ‘elaborate hoax’ in Lurgan

Police called in air support to deal with what turned out to be an ‘elaborate hoax’ in Lurgan this afternoon (Sunday).

A number of homes were evacuated following the discovery of a suspicious object in the Allenhill Park area of the town.

Chief Inspector Jon Burrows said “the overwhelming sentiment coming from all sides is anger and irritation that some people continue to try to drag us back”.

A police spokesperson, posting on social media, said: “Whilst we deal with a device, several residents have had their weekend disturbed and, no doubt, family plans cancelled. “Whilst we regret any inconvenience that is caused, we will never put lives at risk by rushing these operations.

“Experience tells us that those who delight in putting their own community at risk by placing these devices may also have other intentions for us at the scene and as we saw just last year, residential areas are not off limits for them. Keeping People Safe always comes first.

“We will get everyone back to their homes as soon as we safely can, and are very grateful for the patience and kinds words local residents have had.

Sinn Féin’s Nuala Toman has condemned those responsible for the disruption.

The Upper Bann candidate said: “The discovery of a suspicious object in the Allenhill Park area has led to a security alert and the evacuation of people from their homes.

“The local community do not want this disruption to their lives on a Sunday morning, particularly those with young children and older members of our community.

“Whoever is behind these incidents needs to stop and let the local community get on with their lives.”

The operation was declared an elaborate hoax and residents were returned to their homes shortly after 7pm.

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