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South Belfast MLA Christopher Stalford has said there must be a strong deterrent against those intent on breaching Covid-19 regulations and engaging in anti-social behaviour in the Holyland area of Belfast.

The DUP MLA said,

"There is a strong argument that Covid fixed penalty notices should be increased beyond £60 to provide a greater deterrent, but it is important the police demonstrate they will impose whatever sanctions are available to them.

Beyond even breaches of Covid-19 regulations, there is clear evidence of general anti-social and criminal behaviour from some students in the Holyland area. Arrests and prosecutions are again necessary because some students appear to believe the Holyland is some kind of autonomous zone where the law does not apply.

It is important the universities demonstrate that they are prepared to take this issue seriously. It students know their degree could be under threat before it has even properly commenced it will again send out a much more effective deterrent message."