Coronavirus: Holyland arrests amid Covid-19 breach warning

Belfast's Holyland area

Image caption

The Holyland area is home to many students and long-term residents and homeowners

Two men have been arrested in the Holyland area of south Belfast as police renewed a warning about young people adhering to Covid-19 regulations.

A 22-year-old man was issued a £1,000 fine for breaching travel quarantine restrictions.

He was also charged with assaulting a council employee and two police officers.

A 20-year-old man was arrested for disorderly behaviour.

The PSNI said it is working with universities, further education colleges, partner agencies and local community and resident groups to address any antisocial or criminal behaviour in the area.

They added that 13 calls were received on Monday evening about activities in the Holyland area, with a community resolution notice and a fixed penalty notice issued.

Ch Insp Gavin Kirkpatrick said officers had been “vocal in our warnings to young people” and will take action “where we see breaches of the regulations or antisocial or criminal behaviour”.

‘Wreck and ruin’

“We again remind students living off campus of the importance of building good relationships with local residents and being respectful of the needs of the whole community,” he continued.

Green Party councillor Áine Groogan said the spike in anti-social behaviour is “entirely predictable at the start of a new university term but it’s also exceptionally dangerous in the midst of a pandemic”.

“The public health risks of young people congregating in small spaces at present are huge.”

She added that the Holyland area had been let go to “wreck and ruin for many years” and that “the responsibility lies with government at many levels as well as statutory agencies”.

“In this first instance, I want to see the Department of Justice enable a more robust response to anti-social behaviour.

“I’d urge the justice minister to bring forward workable legislation to bring our anti-social behaviour law in line with other parts of the UK.”

BBC News