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House party of 30 in Holyland broken up

Three people attempted to hide by locking themselves in a bathroom for over 10 minutes as officers dealt with other people.

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Residents have voiced concern over large crowds gathering in the Holyland area in breach of Covid regulations

Residents have voiced concern over large crowds gathering in the Holyland area in breach of Covid regulations

Residents have voiced concern over large crowds gathering in the Holyland area in breach of Covid regulations

Thirty people from across Northern Ireland attended a house party in Belfast’s Holyland area, police said.

Three people attempted to hide by locking themselves in a bathroom for more than 10 minutes as officers dealt with other people.

They issued 55 Covid penalty notices and three prohibition notices on properties on Thursday night and Friday morning.

PSNI chief inspector Gavin Kirkpatrick said, “It is disappointing and frustrating that some people continue to disregard clear and specific advice, guidance and warnings issued by police, the health minister, universities and others.

“Police will continue to dedicate substantial resources to this area as we work alongside partner agencies, including representatives from Belfast City Council and both universities who will be on the ground to address ongoing issues in the Holyland area.”

Ulster and Queen’s universities have warned any students found to be in breach of health guidelines will be subject to stringent disciplinary measures that may include suspension or exclusion.

The young people congregating or travelling to this area really need to consider their actions for their own health and that of the community of this residential areaGavin Kirkpatrick

Mr Kirkpatrick added: “Once again, I am warning young people who have moved to the Holyland area and those who are visiting the area, you all share responsibility to adhere to the Health Protection Regulations to protect yourselves and others from Covid-19.

“The young people congregating or travelling to this area really need to consider their actions for their own health and that of the community of this residential area.”

Footage showing groups of young people congregating and drinking in the area of terraced housing near Queen’s was “deplorable”, health minister Robin Swann said.

He detailed fines of up to £960 which could be applied to repeat offenders.

Belfast is one of the areas subjected to localised lockdowns and people cannot visit other houses.

Mr Kirkpatrick said: “A large number of people are acting responsibly but there are some who continue to behave recklessly and are causing disruption for the local community.

“Police will robustly address all incidents of antisocial or criminal activity.”

PA