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Victoria shopping centre in Belfast, where a car containing a bomb partially exploded. Paul Faith/PA Wire

'We are all aware of the threat posed by terrorists' - PSNI to step up Christmas security

In response to last night’s security incident the PSNI will increase their presence on Belfast’s streets

THE PSNI ARE to increase their presence on Belfast’s streets in the run up to Christmas in the wake last night’s car bomb.

In yesterday’s security incident, a man’s car was hijacked by masked men before he was forced to take an explosive device into the city centre. After he abandoned the car and alerted police the device partially exploded as police prepared to examine it.

In response to last night’s events the PSNI say they will be implementing “a dedicated policing operation to help people stay safe” in the weeks prior to Christmas.

“There will be a very visible police presence in Belfast city centre over the coming weeks in key locations, at key times,” said chief superintendent Alan McCrum.

“Police will be on foot, on bikes and conducting vehicle check points in hot-spot areas to prevent crime and reassure shoppers, revellers and motorists,” he added.

We are all aware of the threat that is posed by terrorists. Everyone can play a part in helping to tackle this by remaining vigilant and by reporting any suspicious activity or behaviour to police. Police are committed to keeping communities safe.

The PSNI’s pledge to increase patrols came as police briefed Belfast Lord Mayor Máirtín O’Muilleor on the policing operation in place for Christmas who said he ” would appeal for positivity”.

“We should all be proud of the great things happening in Belfast and the many good people in our midst. Our message is clear – those who seek to wreck and cause ruin have no place here. Belfast is open for business, ” he said.

Earlier this afternoon there was a security operation in the south of the city with the Lockview Road area closed as a result. The road was later reopened after nothing untoward was discovered by police.

Read: Masked men hijacked car that exploded in Belfast >

Read: Two viable pipe bombs discovered in Belfast >

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