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Bradshaw repeats calls for increased police presence in Lower Ormeau and Holyland

Alliance South Belfast MLA Paula Bradshaw has repeated her call for an increased police presence in the Lower Ormeau and Holyland areas following increased incidents of anti-social behaviour there.

A number of cars were burnt out along Collingwood Avenue and Curzon Street last night (Tuesday). It follows other incidents in recent weeks, with Ms Bradshaw saying residents had been left terrorised.

“We know the PSNI increased their presence in the area for the first two weeks the students returned, however, while normal policing levels have resumed in late September, we have seen a continuation of negative behaviour terrorising local residents.

“This anti-social behaviour has now escalated, leading to many waking up today to find their treasured possession has been recklessly destroyed. We are also seeing mass brawls in the middle of the Ormeau Road, with drunk young people staggering about putting themselves and motorists in danger.

“A teenager was also recently robbed at knifepoint. Add to this the great disruption to family life for so many right through the night, as revellers return to their homes from the local bars, including causing damage to cars, fences and gates along the way.

“The level of anti-social behaviour has far exceeded young people having a bit of fun and is now firmly in the realms of criminality. It is the PSNI has primary responsibility for dealing with this and I have written to the local area commander, asking for an increased police presence.

“Belfast City Council is convening a multi-agency meeting at lunch-time on Friday. I will be attending, but I have grown sick and tired of these talking shops. The local residents have suffered far too much and it looks like the incidents are getting more and more sinister and destructive. We need to do more than talk but rather have actions to help the residents.”