After the Mitte district office issued a nocturnal alcohol ban for James-Simon-Park and Monbijoupark on Thursday due to party excesses in recent weeks, the situation initially remained calm on Friday evening.
According to current knowledge, Saturday night was also quiet. Only about 150 people were spread out on the green area there and in the neighboring Monbijoupark. The vast majority of park visitors knew nothing about the ban.
The uniformed police were on site until about 12:00 a.m. and informed visitors about the alcohol ban after 10:00 p.m. After that, as far as can be seen, the alcohol ban was not enforced. Most park visitors continued to drink peacefully in smaller groups. Place references were not pronounced.
According to the police, there were no new incidents in any park in Mitte on Saturday night. Police officers were on site and pointed out the new rule to people who drank alcohol, a police spokesman said on Saturday. That worked well.
Until the evening it was unclear how the police intends to implement the alcohol ban. The district’s request for administrative assistance was only received by the police on Friday.
“We are currently examining to what extent the request can be met in the short term,” it said. In general, however, the police are “in action every day in Berlin parks”. The authority was aware of the “considerations of the district in advance”. Just a week ago, the police repeatedly cleared James Simon Park because of the aggressive atmosphere.
Ironically, on Christopher Street Day (CSD), the alcohol ban in both parks came into force on Friday evening at 10 p.m. It is justified with party excesses in the past few weeks, damage, garbage and noise.
“Alcohol consumption is considered the main catalyst for mental and physical disinhibition” and is one “of the main reasons for the nightly gatherings of several hundred people,” according to the district office’s order.
District mayor Stephan von Dassel (Greens) “will not be on site for checks at the weekend”, not even the regulatory office, said a spokesman. The ban must “mainly be enforced by the police”.
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From next week, the security service will support the police on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. “within the available resources”. After talks with the police, the alcohol ban was “jointly assessed as expedient”.
It “has a preventive character above all” and allows for issuing dismissals and ensuring alcohol. If necessary, a warning of 50 euros or a fine of 100 to 3000 euros could be levied. The district does not want to accept “the impairment of its green spaces” and “violent excesses” there.
Experts expect that the party crowd will now switch to other parks – such as the Mauerpark in Pankow. The district office there rejects an alcohol ban, but considers it disproportionate – and warns against lawsuits.
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The police union (GdP) also criticized the ban. It is not “the big hit”, will not “really change anything about the situation” and “is ultimately nothing more than a helpless attempt to shirk responsibility here,” said GdP spokesman Benjamin Jendro.
“In view of the upcoming CSD, security in outdoor pools and the everyday fight against crime, the police are not exactly bored and overstaffed,” said Jendro.