POLICE say that a "viable device" was discovered at the scene of a security alert in West Belfast on Tuesday.

A police cordon remained in place on the Shaws Road at Rossnareen Park for most of day, with road closures at the Shaws Road junctions with Lenadoon Avenue and Rossnareen Road, and the Rossnareen Park junction with Rossnareen Avenue.

Road closures caused serious disruption to road users with members of the public, including motorists, advised to avoid the area.

During the alert the Hillhead Spar shop remained open with the cordon beginning at the adjacent traffic lights.

Local residents and businesses in the Rossnareen area, including a pizza shop, barbers, and betting shop, were directly impacted by the security alert as they remained in-between the cordon lines.

SDLP West Belfast councillor Paul Doherty said the discovery of a viable device in a residential area is "seriously concerning".

"This was found in a place surrounded by family homes where children would have been out on the streets playing and enjoying their summer holidays," he said. "Had this device gone off someone could have been seriously injured or worse. 

“Those behind this device care nothing for the local community or the impact this could have had on them. Residents' lives were disrupted and people were put at risk and I cannot understand why. People here are sick of their lives being plagued by incidents of this nature, they achieve nothing and it’s extremely disheartening that areas are being subjected to this. 

“Anyone with any information about this device should come forward to police. I would appeal to those behind this alert to stop and think about the impact of their actions before one of these incidents has serious consequences.”