Northern Ireland news

Police arrest 23 in Belfast during St Patrick's Day celebrations

The arrests were for a range of public order offences including disorderly behaviour, resisting arrest and minor assaults, including assaults on police
Marie Louise McConville

POLICE made a total of 23 arrests around Belfast during St Patrick's Day celebrations after some revellers failed to heed warnings "to act and drink responsibly".

Superintendent Robert Murdie said a "complex police and partnership operation" had been in place on Saturday "to help ensure that the large number of events that took place in the city passed off peacefully".

In total, 23 arrests were made in and around Belfast city centre and in the Holylands area.

The arrests, all linked to the St Patrick’s Day celebrations, were for a range of public order offences including disorderly behaviour, resisting arrest and minor assaults, including assaults on police.

Superintendent Murdie said the majority of people celebrating in the city did so in a good natured and respectful fashion.

"Police responded to numerous reports of unacceptable anti-social conduct and young people drinking alcohol in the street," he added.

"In fact, the majority of those arrested were under the influence of alcohol.

"Police along with partner agencies, and in consultation with the local community, will review all of the planning for St Patrick’s Day and its associated events and will take away whatever learning there is to improve the experience in future for residents and visitors alike".

Although there were some arrests, there was no repeat of the major street disorder in the Holylands area witnessed in recent years on St Patrick’s Day.

Meanwhile, of those arrested, a 19-year-old man is expected to appear before Belfast magistrates court today charged with disorderly behaviour and obstructing police.

In addition, a 19-year-old man is expected to appear before the same court on April 12 charged with obstructing police and resisting police.

A 24-year-old man is expected to appear before Belfast magistrates court on April 13 charged with criminal damage while an 18-year-old man is expected to appear before the same court on the same date charged with disorderly behaviour, assault on police and obstruction of a road.

Police said a number of other people were "dealt with by way of community resolution notices and penalty notices of disorder".

"A number of others remain in police custody at this time," a PSNI spokesman said.

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