Anna Lo MLA: “I am saddened that shops have lost out on an afternoon’s worth of trade as a consequence of this security alert. Many are struggling to survive in the current economic climate and so rely on a good Christmas trade. The sustainability of some of these shops has been put at risk because of this alert.
“I hope this does not put people off from coming into Belfast City centre to shop. With the continental market staying open for a few extra days I hope people can come and help boost the economy.
“I would urge whoever is responsible for this alert to realise the consequences of their actions and see the real damage that they are doing to our economy.
“If anybody has any information about this security alert then I would urge them to contact the police.”