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Holylands CCTV downgraded due to lack of money

CCTV was installed in the student area in March 2010 following disorder
Michael McHugh

NO MONEY is available to upgrade a CCTV system in a student housing area blighted by isolated antisocial behaviour.

Young people celebrating St Patrick's Day have angered Holylands residents in the past.

Although the area of terraced streets near Queen's University Belfast is usually peaceful, CCTV was installed in March 2010 following disorder. However, the system has aged and developed technical problems.

A report due to be considered by Belfast City Council said: "None of the funders or partners of the original scheme currently have any financial resource to contribute toward the urgent upgrade needed to ensure the Holylands CCTV system operates at an acceptable level.

"PSNI, who had taken responsibility for recording and monitoring of cameras, are no longer able to do so at the original level and are only prepared to commit to recording capacity for five strategically placed cameras.

"Live monitoring of these cameras would only take place over key dates throughout the year - eg: St. Patrick's Day, Freshers' and Halloween."

Residents have expressed concern about outdoor drinking and antisocial behaviour.

The review said there was reluctance to consider reinvesting in a system that has not provided tangible evidence of its impact over the years.

It said security cameras by themselves were not effective in dealing with antisocial behaviour.

"There is a view that a shared multi-agency responsibility and partnership working is the most effective way of addressing issues in the Holylands area.

"Future investment would need to show strong evidence of impact."

Twelve cameras are in place.

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