Covid notices handed out after police called to reports of house parties in Holylands
Police have handed out fines totalling £11,000 overnight after attending seven residential addresses holding parties in the Holyland area of south Belfast.
Between 8pm on Monday night and 4am on Tuesday morning, officers attended addresses where large numbers of young adults had gathered.
As our exclusive pictures show, police had to deal with parties into the early hours of this morning.
Officers also responded to a number of reports of groups of young people, playing music loudly and drinking in the street.
Chief Inspector Gavin Kirkpatrick said: “As police officers attended a number of addresses to provide advice and guidance around potential breaches of Covid-19 health regulations, 55 Covid 4 notices were issued alongside 19 Covid 2 notices.
"Three people under 18 years of age received community resolution notices and one 16-year-old was brought home to their parents.
“We have also begun preparing files to be forwarded to the Public Prosecution Service regarding the behaviour of 14 individuals who had previously received a Covid 4 notice.
“We deployed significant resources yesterday into the early hours of this morning, as a result of the behaviour of some people staying in or visiting this residential area.”
The PSNI says it has also now brought forward its plans around St Patrick’s Day and will begin the operation today, increasing resources dedicated to the area.
“We will also continue to liaise with colleagues from each of the Universities, Further Education colleges, Belfast City Council and other agencies as we work together to address this issue,” Chief Inspector Kirkpatrick added.
“It is disappointing and difficult to understand how some people think the current health regulations and restrictions do not apply to them. It is also apparent that some parents and guardians need to take more of an interest in what their young people are doing.
“This is a residential area and understandably, local people are fed up having to live with this type of behaviour.
“Our message is very clear. All students or anyone visiting the Holyland area must follow the latest Covid 19 health and safety advice and specific guidance regarding houses of multiple occupancy provided by the universities.
“Police will continue to respond to every report and every incident in a proportionate manner. That can mean issuing a penalty notice, a community restorative notice, ultimately through to arrest. In the case of the behaviour of some students, we will also make referrals to their educational establishment, and this could have a significant impact on their educational career.”