Officers cordoned off Rue de l’Hopital Militaire after the alarm was raised over a black Citroen Picasso with broken windows parked on the street. People living on ground floor apartments were evacuated as bomb disposal experts carried out an investigation. The quiet street is just a few hundred yards from Lille Christmas market, popular with locals and tourists.
Officers remain at the scene as they try to determine whether any risk is posed, Grand Lille TV reports.
Soldiers were also sent to the scene as officers worked to determine whether the car posed a danger to members of the public.
The alarm was raised at 11.30am local time.
Students and staff at the ECG school on the street were ordered out of the building.
The car was found close to Bar Idiot.
The police cordon extended to Republic Square, Morrison Square and Bethune Street.
Shortly before 1pm (2pm local time) police announced they were lifting the cordon.
The specialist officers had removed the one big and two small gas canisters from the car.
They were not found to pose any particular danger to people.
Police Nationale 59 tweeted that the “public security intervention” had come to an end.
The scare comes after a media centre was evacuated in June due to a suspicious item.
The building at Stade Pierre Mauroy was off limits while officers examined the device, later found to be innocent.
The incident happened in the run up to France’s football match with Ireland.
More to follow.