Police don’t want a repeat of scenes likes this in 2013 when riot cops had to be sent into the Holylands district of south Belfast

POLICE in Belfast are asking everyone attending the St Patrick’s Day celebrations on Friday to enjoy them safely and respectfully.

Superintendent Melanie Jones said: “We are expecting a large number of visitors to the City on Friday to enjoy the carnival and family friendly atmosphere.

!We will have an operation in place in conjunction with our partners to help everyone enjoy the day safely and legally.

“In the past, overindulgence in alcohol has led some people to act in a way they would never do when sober.

“This has previously resulted in assaults, damage to property and annoyance to others and we are making it clear that this behaviour is not acceptable.

“As in previous years, we will be working alongside Belfast City Council and in South Belfast, with Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Ulster, the Belfast Met and local schools, who will again proactively encourage young people and students to stay off the streets of the Holyland on St Patrick’s Day.

“We are planning joint enforcement patrols with Belfast City Council’s Antisocial Behaviour Officers to seize alcohol from anyone drinking in the street and to minimise antisocial behaviour in general.

“Students who become involved in rowdy or disorderly behaviour risk disciplinary action by their universities, colleges and schools.

“Young people have every right to enjoy each other’s company and the celebrations.

“But I would just like to remind them that what might initially seem like fooling about can sometimes get out of hand and end up in a criminal record which can affect travel, education and employment opportunities in the future.

“It is really important that young people understand this.

“I am asking parents and guardians to help us keep everyone safe on the day.

“Make sure you know where your young people are, what they are doing, and please talk to them about the impact of underage drinking and the danger of getting caught up in the moment and the possible outcomes they could face if they are found committing any offences.

Police want people to enjoy the carnival atmosphere in Belfast

“Our message to the public is to come and enjoy all that Belfast has to offer – but to do so safely.

“Any unruly behaviour affecting the enjoyment of the majority, caused by people who celebrate to excess, will not be tolerated.”

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