Published Friday, 16 March 2012
Eight people were detained in the Multi Agency Operation. (© UTV)
Police, City Council and university representatives were on the streets of the heavily-populated student area on Thursday to tackle anti-social activity.
Four of the arrests were for disorderly behaviour, with a further one each for drink driving, common assault and possession of a weapon, criminal damage and one bench warrant.
Police and partners will continue to have a visible presence in the area over the weekend.
Chief Inspector Gabriel Moran
People involved in a further six incidents were dealt with 'on the spot' and two reports were made to the Public Prosecution Service for drinking on the street.
"Police along with other partners had an increased presence in the Holyland area last night," said PSNI Chief Inspector Gabriel Moran.
"This operation focussed on creating a safe environment for all residents in this area.
"A number of police interventions were made which resulted in arrests and discretionary disposals being issued.
"I would strongly encourage people to consider the long term consequences of engaging in any anti-social or criminal behaviour."
In March 2009, violence erupted in the Holyland with police pelted with bottles and fireworks.
The situation has calmed in recent years, however some residents remain fearful after this most recent bout of trouble, which comes at the start of a long weekend for students.
Rowan Davidson from the Holyland Residents Association said: "We are fearful that the next two or three days are going to be bad, as opposed to one day last year.
"It cost £80,000 to police one day, we are now talking maybe double or even triple that if our fears are anticipated.
"The amount of resources and money it's taking keeping the lid on this is enormous."
Both Queen's University and the University of Ulster are encouraging students to stay off the streets over the St Patrick's weekend.
They say anyone arrested for anti-social behaviour is likely to face suspension.
Professor Tony Gallagher of QUB said: "Having been on the ground for much of yesterday evening it appears that many students have listened to our advice to go home for the weekend.
"Any Queen's student who is reported to the University for anti-social behaviour will appear in front of a disciplinary panel before Easter."
Professor Alastair Adair of UU said: "The University warned students in the run-up to St Patrick's weekend that any student who is arrested for serious anti-social behaviour would be suspended immediately by the University, pending further investigation and that process could lead to their expulsion."
© UTV News