Belfast Telegraph

PSNI warning to students in Belfast's Holyland after up to 100 young people gather on street

The PSNI said a fire was lit in the street

By Claire Williamson

The PSNI has issued a warning to students in Belfast after up to 100 young people gathered in the streets of the Holyland area in the early hours.

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.

Police have issued a warning after up to 100 young people were out on the street in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Officers said when they arrived the young people had lit a fire in the street.

PSNI in south Belfast said: "Whilst on patrol last night in the Holylands police came across a group of 50-100 young adults out in the street at 3 am. The music was pumping, the drinks flowing, the craic was great.... except they weren't in the club.

"They were in the street. As if the noise wasn't enough they had even lit themselves a fire.

"Understandably the crowd quickly dispersed when we arrived. All except one male who thought he would show off and pull the finger to us. He ran, but not very far until he was in cuffs and dealt with for disorderly behaviour."

Officers added: "Students - this is your only warning. We will be back tonight and any offences or anti-social behaviour will be dealt with robustly. Universities will be involved and you will be disciplined. Is it worth it for a party? Is it worth it for some drink?

"Think twice and think of your future."

Ray Farley of the Holyland Regeneration Association said the anti-social behaviour had started again since Sunday - but that it goes on all year round.

He told the Belfast Telegraph: "Last night was quite bad, it was a bit like a mini St Patrick's Day.

"It's just again showing great lack of respect for residents in the area and lack of respect for themselves when they behave like this.

"It goes on all the time. It really is every night during term time - but this is the first time it's been that rowdy at the start of term, and it's just quite surprising."

He added: "A harder line has to be taken. Police do what they can do but there is no hard-line crackdown.

"The young people are quite wise to how to behave when authority comes around - they quieten down and then when they are away it starts up again."

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