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More than 130 enforcement notices issued by police over St Patrick’s Day

Police and partner agencies attended reports of gatherings across Northern Ireland into the early hours of Thursday.

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The PSNI said the vast majority of people had abided by public health rules (Niall Carson/PA)

The PSNI said the vast majority of people had abided by public health rules (Niall Carson/PA)

The PSNI said the vast majority of people had abided by public health rules (Niall Carson/PA)

A total of 135 enforcement notices were handed out by police in Northern Ireland over St Patrick’s Day.

Almost 50 £200 fines were issued in the Holyland area of south Belfast where several house parties were held.

Botanic Gardens was closed on Wednesday afternoon after hundreds gathered there despite tight restrictions on public gatherings under Covid-19 regulations.

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A police vehicle surrounded by people out celebrating St Patrick’s Day in Botanic Gardens, Belfast (Niall Carson/PA)

A police vehicle surrounded by people out celebrating St Patrick’s Day in Botanic Gardens, Belfast (Niall Carson/PA)

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A police vehicle surrounded by people out celebrating St Patrick’s Day in Botanic Gardens, Belfast (Niall Carson/PA)

Across Northern Ireland, police and partner agencies attended reports of gatherings and seized multiple items of alcohol from young people and people drinking in public spaces.

But assistant chief constable Alan Todd said the vast majority of people abided by the public health rules.

“Whilst we did note large numbers in some parks and beauty spots, officers implemented our four Es strategy – Engage, Explain, Encourage, and lastly Enforce, and encouraged people to return home where necessary, including a number of groups in Botanic Gardens in Belfast,” he said.

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Students in the Holyland area of Belfast on St Patrick’s Day (Niall Carson/PA)

Students in the Holyland area of Belfast on St Patrick’s Day (Niall Carson/PA)

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Students in the Holyland area of Belfast on St Patrick’s Day (Niall Carson/PA)

“In the Holyland area of south Belfast, up to just after 2am this morning, officers attended nine residential properties, issuing 47 Covid 4 notices (£200 fines) and eight Covid 2 notices.

“Two other people will be reported to the public prosecution service.

“Also in south Belfast, just after 2.30am this morning, a vehicle which was being driven erratically, failed to stop for police.

“The vehicle was pursued by specialist officers to the M1 motorway, where they called off the pursuit and liaised with officers in Lisburn and Castlereagh.”

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PSNI assistant chief constable Alan Todd (Brian Lawless/PA)

PSNI assistant chief constable Alan Todd (Brian Lawless/PA)

PA

PSNI assistant chief constable Alan Todd (Brian Lawless/PA)

“Officers deployed a stinger device at Sprucefield, which helped to bring the car to a controlled stop,” he said.

“While the four occupants made off from the vehicle, they were located a short distance away and were arrested on suspicion of a number of offences.

“They remain in custody and our enquiries are ongoing.

“At various locations across Northern Ireland, police and partner agencies attended reports of groups of people gathering up, incidents of anti-social behaviour and have seized multiple items of alcohol from young people and people drinking in public spaces.”

Mr Todd said the PSNI’s preliminary figures indicated that a total of 135 enforcement notices were issued across Northern Ireland into the early hours of Thursday. This figure included fines and warning notices.


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