Holyland PSNI operation in South Belfast sees 1,500 'items of alcohol' lifted in one night

By Maurice Fitzmaurice

The PSNI have seized more than 1,500 "items of alcohol" during one night in Belfast’s Holyland.

Police said from Monday evening into the early hours of Tuesday officers "recovered and disposed of" drink taken "from people who had gathered on streets" in the Holyland area of South Belfast.

A PSNI spokesman said the drink lifted was on top of more than 1,000 items of alcohol recovered the previous night.

Chief Inspector Gavin Kirkpatrick said: “It is disappointing to report that last night, officers again had to contend with large numbers of mainly young people gathering up in this residential area. Over the course of the evening, we made five arrests for a number of offences including disorderly behaviour and burglary.

“We also issued 10 community resolution notices, a penalty notice for disorderly behaviour and reported three people to the Public Prosecution Service.

“It is also apparent that young people are travelling to the area from other parts of the city and beyond. Far too many people are congregating in the streets of this residential area into the early hours of the morning, disrupting and upsetting local residents.

“Anyone who has moved to this part of South Belfast must take personal responsibility for their behaviour. Residents are fed up and police will robustly address any criminal activity.

"The result could be a young person obtaining a criminal record, which could have far reaching implications for any educational or professional opportunities.

“I very much doubt some of the people gathering in the area would behave the same way outside their parents or grandparents homes. Parents and guardians need to speak with their young people, and ensure they know where they are, who they are with and what they are doing.

“Parents and guardians who allow young people to visit friends or attend parties in this residential area should consider how they would feel, if they had hundreds of young people outside their home, keeping them and their families awake to all hours.”

The officer added that the PSNI are “working with Belfast City Council to address on-street alcohol consumption, noise pollution and street cleansing” and that they “will continue to work with the universities, further education colleges, partner agencies, local residents and community representatives to address issues in the area”.

He added: “Where appropriate, we will also liaise with the universities and colleges who will consider their own sanctions against any students involved.

“We have once again increased policing resources dedicated to this area and will be deploying our evidence gathering vehicles throughout the coming weeks, and will continue robustly address any antisocial or criminal behaviour.”

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