Alliance members of Belfast City Council have called for a joined up approach from the Council, Housing Executive, PSNI and other statutory agencies to deal with street disorder associated mainly with students living in the Holyland area of Belfast.
Councillor Emmet McDonough-Brown proposed a motion calling for the reinstatement of street wardens and CCTV. He also called for more robust enforcement of bye-laws relating to street drinking.
Councillor McDonough-Brown said: “Civic leadership requires us to tackle problems that appear intractable. We recognise the substantial social and economic contribution made by students and the universities make to our city. As a council we need to consider the return of wardens, the installation of CCTV, the impact of private landlords and options for more rigorously enforcing bye-laws.
“I accept that not all those causing trouble in this area are students, which is why more needs to be done by their landlords and, where necessary, the police. For too long, the quality of life for long term residents has been adversely affected and it is time action was taken to deal with this issue.”
Speaking in support of the motion was Alliance councillor Kate Nicholl, who said: “It is unfortunate that a great number of well behaved students living in this area have been tainted by those who have no respect for other residents. In addition to rowdy behaviour there have instances of criminal actions, with cars and property damaged. We also need the Assembly to update the relevant legislation on anti-social behaviour to ensure the police and others have the necessary tools to deal with the problem. I offer my full support to the residents and hope we can provide a meaningful solution.”