13.06.2021, Berlin: Zahlreiche Menschen sitzen auf Liegestühlen und auf der Wiese in der untergehenden Sonne am Sonntagabend im James-Simon-Park. Foto: Jens Kalaene/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

The Senate Department for the Interior wants to increase security in Berlin’s parks. “We are already developing solutions with the districts in a joint working group,” said Interior Senator Iris Spranger (SPD) of the “Berliner Morgenpost”.

The aim is a uniform concept to get crime under control. “From a certain point in time, an alcohol ban must also be imposed,” said Spranger. If necessary, parks would have to be fenced off. “If there are no other options, you also have to think about closing parks at a certain point in time.”

There had been several incidents of violence in Berlin parks last summer. There have also been several police operations in the past few weeks. On the first weekend in June and on the night of last Sunday, the police cleared James Simon Park in Berlin-Mitte.

The working group with the districts was created on Spranger’s initiative. Their representatives met for the first time last week. “It’s good that not everyone is fumbling alone,” said Neukölln City Councilor Jochen Biedermann (Greens), who is responsible for green spaces. Revising and standardizing parking regulations is not enough.

Regarding Spranger’s move to ban alcohol in critical situations or to fence or close parks, Biedermann said he didn’t want to give any advice to other districts. “In Neukölln I don’t see any need for that at the moment.”

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The City Councilor for Green Spaces in Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, Oliver Schruoffeneger, said alcohol bans, fencing and closures should be part of the toolbox. But there must be financial and personal security, explained the Green politician.

Last year, due to closures due to the corona pandemic, thousands of people kept going to Berlin’s parks for parties. There were sometimes violent clashes between revelers and police officers. The Mitte district finally imposed restrictions on James Simon Park. Entry was prohibited from 8 p.m.

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The district office and the police hoped that these measures would “break the spiral of violence in and out of the park” and make the park unattractive to those seeking violence, said Mitte Mayor Stephan von Dassel (Greens) at the time. The nightly parties caused damage of 200,000 euros in James Simon Park alone.