Police arrest more than 20 people in Belfast St Patrick's Day celebrations

More than 20 drunken revellers were arrested during St Patrick's Day celebrations in Belfast, the PSNI has said.

The arrests, which were made in the city centre and the Holylands areas on Saturday, were for a range of public order offences.

Four people - aged between 18 and 24 - have been charged so far and are due before the courts over the next few weeks.

A number of others remain in police custody.

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

Mr Murdie added: "While the majority of people celebrating in the city (on Saturday) did so in a good-natured and respectful fashion, some did not heed our message to act and drink responsibly.

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

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

In previous years, the Holylands area, which is home to a large student population, has been blighted by drunken scenes and anti-social behaviour.

Mr Murdie said: "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."

Of those arrested, a 19-year-old man is expected to appear before Belfast Magistrates Court on Monday charged with disorderly behaviour and obstructing police.

In April three other men - aged 18, 19 and 24 - are due in court charged with a number of offences including obstructing police, criminal damage, disorderly behaviour, assault on police and obstruction of a road.

Some of the offences were dealt with by way of community resolution notices and penalty notices of disorder.

- Press Association

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