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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 January 2006, 06:48 GMT
Drive to tackle student behaviour
Holyland area of south Belfast
There have been problems in the Holyland area of Belfast
A new drive to tackle the problems suffered by residents of Belfast's Holyland area has been launched.

Some householders complain they have been plagued by the bad behaviour of students living in the area.

They say they are fed up with noise, drunkenness and rubbish from young tenants of rented houses.

A team of community safety wardens have been appointed to work in the area and they officially began work on Tuesday as students return for the new term.

The wardens aim to address anti-social behaviour and progress community development.

The scheme is one of several in the Holyland area co-ordinated by the Holyland Inter-Agency Strategy Group.

It brings together statutory agencies, including Belfast City Council, government departments, the PSNI and the universities and colleges.

The wardens are acting with all the full powers of Belfast City Council, as well as having quick access to police and contact with the communities and universities
David Farrell
Holyland Residents' Committee

The Holyland is an area in south Belfast close to Queen's University, where many students from there and the University of Ulster live during term time.

At the beginning of the new academic year in September, Queen's appealed to new and returning students to "show respect" and allow their neighbours to live in peace.

In the previous academic year, at least four students from the University of Ulster and Queen's were suspended and 45 others faced fines following complaints.

The Holyland Community Warden Scheme was officially launched by Belfast Lord Mayor Wallace Browne on Tuesday.

'Small number'

David Farrell of the Holyland Residents' Committee said the wardens were "a fantastic asset to the whole of south Belfast".

"It is not just the Holyland - there is the potential for other areas which are just as troubled as the Holyland to benefit from this type of city council initiative," he said.

"The wardens are acting with all the full powers of Belfast City Council, as well as having quick access to police and contact with the communities and universities."

Wardens on patrol in the Holyland area of south Belfast
The pilot scheme will initially run for one year

He said there were only a small number of students who were "persistent trouble-makers".

"They are the only people who have to be dealt with in a more serious way.

"The rest of the people are part of a thriving and strong community there who have been living together for many years."

It is a pilot scheme which will initially run for one year.

The wardens will principally work at night, normally from Sunday to Thursday, between 2200 GMT and 0400 GMT.

Colleen Dowdall of the University of Ulster's students' union said the scheme was "one of the most positive developments in the area".


SEE ALSO:
Focus on student area initiative
02 Nov 05 |  Northern Ireland
Crackdown on 'rowdy students'
01 Oct 04 |  Northern Ireland
Student burglaries on decrease
30 Sep 04 |  Northern Ireland
Tide of change in student area
11 May 04 |  Northern Ireland


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