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Price Street was closed for four hours after a package was left outside the Job Centre Plus offices in the town.
Merseyside Police were called to the suspect package outside the building on Price Street at 07.20 on Thursday morning.
Around 600 workers in the Job Centre were forced to wait for four hours in a near-by car park as army bomb disposal officers made sure that the package was safe, and then allowed forensics team to collect possible evidence from the scene.
At around 10.45am a loud bang was heard as it's through the army carried out a controlled explosion on the item which locals claimed looked like a biscuit tin.
Detective Inspector Anne Rannard from Merseyside Police said: "We treat this very seriously. Although this was not a viable device someone had gone to great lengths to cause considerable disruption and upset this morning.
"There is a full forensic investigation taking place and we are determined to find the people responsible for this hoax."
Anyone with any information regarding the security alert should call Merseyside Police on 0151 777 2265 or Crime stoppers on 0800 555 111.