Belfast Ulster Unionist Councillor, Alderman Sonia Copeland, has stated that the anti-social behaviour in the Holylands shouldn`t be allowed to continue and has called for the Justice Minister to co-ordinate a multi-agency approach to deal with it.
Alderman Copeland said:
“The scenes in the Holylands are a disgrace. This goes on year after year and nothing ever seems to change. What makes things even worse is that we are in the middle of a pandemic, yet the loutish behaviour is allowed to continue at the expense of the peace of mind of long-term residents. It`s no longer good enough to make excuses for those people engaged in these irresponsible activities. It`s time to send a clear message that enough is enough.
“I know that Belfast City Council is doing its bit, putting people on the ground and regrettably one of our employees was assaulted in the process of doing their job. What we need is a properly co-ordinated multi-agency approach between university authorities, police and the Council led by the Department of Justice. Justice Minister Naomi Long should assemble all the relevant bodies and authorities together to ensure that this happens. A hands-off approach from the Justice Minister won`t suffice. It`s not the responsibility of the Health Minister to deal with anti-social behaviour in the Holylands. This is an ongoing occurrence which happens every year and needs to be dealt with.”