Police in south Belfast have made five arrests in the early hours of this morning (Wednesday 9 September) following reports of a number of incidents in the Holyland area of south Belfast.

Chief Inspector Gavin Kirkpatrick said: “Police responded to a number of reports of groups of young people gathering in residential addresses, playing music loudly and drinking in the street.

“As Police Officers attended a number of addresses to provide advice and guidance around potential breaches of Covid-19 health regulations, one 18 year old male was arrested on suspicion of a number of offences.

“He has subsequently been charged with disorderly behaviour to appear at Belfast Maistrates’ Court on October 6, 2020.

“As police continued to patrol the area, just before 2.30am, they signalled a vehicle which was being driven erratically to stop.

“Before the vehicle came to a complete stop, the driver climbed out of their seat and dived into the rear of the vehicle.

“Thanks to the quick action of police, they stopped the car safely.

“They have arrested four males aged, 21, 25, 28 and 35 year of age,  on suspicion of a number of offences including driving while unfit, taking and driving away, disorderly behaviour, criminal damage, obstructing and resisting police.

“We have already warned young people that while we do not want to see anyone gaining a criminal record, that’s the very real prospect for the five people arrested in the early hours of this morning.

“Police will continue to respond to every report and every incident in a proportionate manner.

“That can mean issuing a penalty notice, a community restorative notice, or in the case of the behaviour of some students, referrals to their educational establishment, and this could have a significant impact on their educational career.

“Our message is very clear. 

“All students or anyone visiting the Holyland area must follow the latest Covid 19 health and safety advice and specific guidance regarding houses of multiple occupancy provided by the universities.

“Students living off campus must be mindful of the importance of building good relationships with local residents.

“They must be respectful of their neighbours who do not want to kept awake all night with parties and do not want to have their property damaged.”

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