Belfast Telegraph

MLA criticises Belfast's councillors for not raising Halloween Holyland disorder at meeting

Belfast city councillor's have been criticised for failing to raise the issue of the anti-social behaviour in the Holyland area over Halloween.

Police issued a warning earlier in the week after more anti-social behaviour in the Holyland area saw a mattress set on fire in the middle of the road.

Officers received reports of a large crowd which had gathered in the Agincourt Avenue area of south Belfast shortly before 3am on Tuesday morning.

The crowd dispersed shortly after the arrival of police.

In recent years the Holyland in south Belfast has become infamous for large numbers of young people taking part in anti-social behaviour to the distress of residents.

Three arrests were made in the area in September as students returned for the Freshers Week ahead of the start of the University year.

Green party MLA Clare Bailey criticised Botanic councillors for not raising the issue at the Belfast City Council meeting on Wednesday night.

She said: “Belfast City Councillors discussed anti-social behaviour in areas of West Belfast and East Belfast at a council meeting last night.

“However, the disorder in the Holyland wasn’t deemed worthy a mention. Why didn’t Botanic Councillors raise it as an issue?

“They’ve no excuse to be asleep on the job – however exhaustion amongst Holyland residents is understandable given that they’ve suffered on street disorder into the early hours of Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.”

She added: “Residents have endured Fresher’s Week and now Halloween related disorder. Already, they have said that they are dreading what lies ahead for St Patrick’s Day.   

“There is little community confidence in the resolve of the Council and PSNI to address ongoing anti-social behaviour in the Holyland area.

“The criminal and anti-social behaviour of people in the area is tolerated in a way that wouldn’t be accepted in other parts of the city.

“Botanic councillors, the PSNI and Belfast City Council must step up and address this problem.  

“It’s not good enough to simply write the Holyland area off.”

Previously Belfast City Council has said it is adopting a "graduated response" to the issues in the Holyland area.

Holyland 'written off' by Belfast council, claims Green MLA Bailey 

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