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'People think trouble in Belfast's Holyland only happens on St Patrick's Day and Freshers' Week, but it is all the time'


The scene in the Holyland after a number of cars were set on fire last year

The scene in the Holyland after a number of cars were set on fire last year

The scene in the Holyland after a number of cars were set on fire last year

Behaviour in the Holyland area of south Belfast has become so bad that one woman reported seeing a student defecate against a tree.

She said the problem of antisocial behaviour is "constant" in the area.

"People think it is only St Patrick's Day and Freshers' Week but it's not, it is all the time," the woman, who asked to remain anonymous because she fears speaking out, told the Belfast Telegraph.

"You don't get to go to bed and not get woken up. Car mirrors are kicked off every single night. They jump on the roof of the car from one to another. I've had eggs and bottles thrown at my window."

She revealed that one of her relatives had been subjected to verbal abuse and had objects thrown at them in the street by students.

The resident said she was in frequent contact with both universities and other stakeholders to report the problem.

"It's constant. I'm phoning the police all the time. Every day I'm on to Queen's and Ulster and sending them videos. It's mental," she said.

"To make a complaint, you have to make calls to both universities, the council, the PSNI - it's five or six calls to make one complaint."

She added: "I've been living in the area for 11 years. When I first moved here it was bad enough, but it's getting worse.

"I only get a good night's sleep when it's the holidays. This year has seen no let-up. I've had threats that they were going to torture me, because they know that I phone the police. It's really, really horrible."

The resident continued: "I don't want to (move) but it's now getting to that stage I feel I'm intimidated out of my own home.

"All I'm expecting is to live in a normal neighbourhood. Kids out playing football in the street doesn't bother me. What does is hurling being played at three, four o'clock in the morning. I phone the police every night."

The resident called for tougher action from all stakeholders to ensure locals have a better quality of life.

"There needs to be a lot more police in the area. And there's too many students here, it should never have been allowed. Both universities need to take better action," she insisted.

"How many times do they need to do something before they're expelled?"

She said students had displayed no respect to residents.

"I saw one student defecate against a tree. They've taken every plant out of my garden. I've had bottles thrown at my windows. A beer keg has been thrown into my back garden," the woman added.

"They've thrown a PlayStation and a speaker at me at 2 o'clock in the morning. Holiday periods are the only time we get a break.

"It's not a life - you're just existing."

Belfast Telegraph