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Clare Bailey MLA: Students & parents proud as Uni starts but poor choices and living conditions can blot the copybook

Clare Bailey MLA has asked students and their parents to consider the realities of life in the Holylands, including overcrowded conditions, anti-social behaviour and a high crime rate.

The call follows a recent spike of anti-social behaviour in the area, a spike which coincides with the start of a new University term every year.

Clare Bailey MLA said: “The University and local residents have appealed directly to the young people involved in anti-social behaviour.

“These appeals have often fallen on deaf ears, with a recent noisy party driving one resident out of his home and into his car in an attempt to sleep.

“We go through a repetitive cycle of a spike in Holylands incidents during Fresher’s Week, St Patrick’s Day, Halloween and coinciding with music festivals.

“Unfortunately the PSNI and Council appear unable or unwilling to pre-empt the spikes and tackle the problems.

“Parents are quite rightly proud to see their young people heading off to university to start a new chapter in their lives.

“However, it’s important for them to understand the scale of the problems in the Holylands, if that’s where the student chooses to live.

“Issues often stem from poor choices from young people, with noisy parties and on street drinking piling misery on residents.

“However, students and their families may not always be aware of the other dangers that exist across the Holylands.

“The area has a high crime rate and is an extremely over crowded location, with low quality housing predominating.

“Indeed, there were a number of serious sexual assaults in the Holylands area during this time last year.

“Thefts and burglaries are also a problem, with high value items such as laptops and mobile phones rich pickings for criminals.

“I’d therefore urge the families and parents of students to sit down and have a conversation about the realities of life in the Holylands.

“The start of a new chapter in University is an exciting time, but students should not blot their copy book with poor choices and by ignoring the unpleasant realities of life in the Holylands.”

ENDS

Media contact

Sinead McIvor – 07701 302 498

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