Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 25 October 2014

Trouble back in Holy Land area

Residents in south Belfast's Holy Land area are again being plagued by noise, parties and on-street drinking now that university terms have started.

Several dozen people have been reported to Belfast City Council and the universities for on-street drinking and other anti-social behaviour offences over the last two weeks, with one person arrested for disorderly behaviour and attempted criminal damage on Monday night.

Ray Farley of the Belfast Holyland Regeneration Association has called on the authorities to get a handle on the situation.

Mr Farley said that things had been moderately quiet until this week — now that many students have moved into their accommodation for the beginning of term.

He said residents have told him they are being plagued by noise, drinking and partying.

“People can say it is not only students causing it, but it is when the student term starts that the trouble starts — you can draw your own conclusions from that,” said Mr Farley. And he called on those with influence to “get a grip” on the situation, or else it will just keep occurring every year.

A PSNI spokeswoman said: “Since Sunday, September 9, several dozen people have been reported to Belfast City Council and the universities for on-street drinking and other anti-social behaviour offences, and one person was arrested for disorderly behaviour and attempted criminal damage on Monday night.

“Police in south Belfast are working closely with the universities, partner agencies and local residents to address incidents of anti-social behaviour which unfortunately always appear to be prevalent at the beginning of the university term in the Holy Land area.”

A Queen's University spokesperson said: “Queen’s University is continuing to work with all key stakeholders, including the PSNI, landlords and Belfast City Council, to ensure students are aware of their responsibilities while being off-campus and the penalties they face for breaching these responsibilities. All complaints received by the university are fully investigated.”

A University of Ulster spokesperson said: “The University of Ulster, takes any complaint regarding the anti-social behaviour of its students very seriously.

“Professor Richard Barnett, vice-chancellor of the University of Ulster and Adrian Kelly, overall president of the University of Ulster Students’ Union, have written jointly to new and returning students reminding them of their duty under the University’s student charter to behave responsibly both on and off campus.”

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