Belfast Telegraph

Cars smashed during Holyland Halloween disturbance

By Jonny Bell

A number of cars had windows smashed in the Holyland area of south Belfast.

It's thought five cars were damaged in an early morning attack on Rugby Avenue on Tuesday morning during Halloween celebrations.

A fire extinguisher, left lying in one of the cars, was thought to have been used in the wrecking spree.

Residents said they estimated the damage to be in the thousands.

The owners of the cars damaged could not be contacted, but one resident said he believed that at least two of the vehicles belonged to student teachers.

"Students will be suspected," said a resident who asked not to be named, "but you can't be certain.

"We do have a problem with blow-ins - those not smart enough to get into university coming into the area to party and then wrecking the place."

The resident, who has lived in the area for more than three decades, said Monday night was packed with revellers celebrating Halloween.

The retired nurse said he knew to park his car away from the area suspecting there may be trouble, adding: "It's all about the drink, they can't even be bothered to put the effort into the dressing up.

"They were running up and down the streets last night and there were house parties going on in nearly every house. We would have complained even if the cars were not smashed.

"People think it's twice a year - at Freshers and St Patrick's - it is really bad, but it's never-ending. Anti-social behaviour is rife until the universities close up or the students run out of money for heating and go home."


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The resident added: "We were told that the council and the police had taken 14 to court over the trouble - in a year.

"But sure you could book that number of people in one night here.

"Until we have big fines, like around £500, for those littering or drinking in the streets then there will be no end to it."

"The only option for us is to move but why should we?"

The PSNI said in a statement: "It was reported that five cars parked on the street had windows broken sometime during the night.

"Many people were out last night attending Halloween events and police are appealing for anyone who was in the area of Rugby Avenue and who witnessed the incident or anyone with any information that can assist with the investigation to contact officers in Lisburn Road on 101 quoting reference number 617 of 01/11/16.

"Information can also be passed anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."

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