Freshers' Week: UCC students told to be respectful or face fines

Freshers' Week: UCC students told to be respectful or face fines
The Quad at the UCC.Pic: Gavin Browne

First-year students starting college in UCC this week have been warned to be respectful of their neighbours or face on the spot fines.

Freshers' Week marks the first week of the new term and the event, along with Raise and Give Week (RAG Week) later in the year, have been marred by antisocial behaviour in the past.

Last year Freshers' Week resulted in 24 public order arrests, two drink-driving arrests, 100 drinking and public order fines issued and 20 campus complaints, including 17 formal referrals from Gardaí.

Head of Community Policing, Sergeant Stewart Philpott said: “There’s absolutely no problem in socialising. All we ask is that people remain respectful.

"Be mindful of their friends and neighbours and reduce noise levels at night and don’t drink on the street," he said.

Students caught drinking alcohol on the streets will now be issued with an on-the-spot €75 fine. Failure to pay will result in court proceedings being initiated within 21 days.

In recent years gardaí have adopted a more proactive approach in targeting anti-social behaviour during Fresher’s Week. 

Meetings with residents in the area are now being held in the weeks leading up to Fresher’s on how best to tackle problematic incidents, should they occur.

Approximately 1,500 homes in the surrounding college area were sent literature on who to contact if they are experiencing problems during Fresher’s Week. 

The Students’ Union has also erected posters along College Road, further underscoring the €75 fine for drinking in public.

While the situation has not yet been fully resolved, Sergeant Philpott remains cautiously optimistic that “the message is sinking in.''

Although Monday was the official start to Fresher’s, students typically go out Sunday night and Sergeant Philpott confirmed it was a “reasonably quiet night”.

The Environmental Society is organising a Post Fresher's Litter Picking event on Friday from 1pm to 3pm. 

The group will meet at the UCC Community Gardens and stress that "even if you can only spare a half an hour, every bit counts". 

You can find out further information on the UCC Environmental Society Facebook Page.

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