Police interventions fall by half after Polish city bans alcohol sales at night

The decision by Kraków, Poland’s second-largest city, to ban alcohol sales in shops at night saw police interventions fall by almost half during the first six months it was in place.

The measures, in force since 1 July, prohibit the sale of alcohol between midnight and 5:30 am, in an attempt to calm the nightlife in the city, which is also Poland’s most popular tourist destination.

#Krakow #nocnyzakaz #sprzedaż #alkohol
🍾🏪 ⭕ Pozytywne efekty nocnej sprzedaży alkoholu podsumowuje zastępca prezydenta Krakowa @KosmiderB. Czy będą też zmiany w strukturze przyznawanych koncesji na sprzedaż trunków? Posłuchajcie!https://t.co/mSgmjttm9V

— Kraków (@krakow_pl) February 20, 2024

In the first six months the ban was in place, police interventions during the prohibition hours dropped by 47% compared to the same period a year earlier, show new figures released by city hall.

In the case of municipal police (straż miejska), an average of 30% fewer interventions were recorded. The largest decrease occurred in August – peak tourist season – reaching 63% for police and 54% for municipal guards.

According to the authorities, there was also a decrease in the number of intoxicated people referred to the care department of the municipal centre for addiction prevention. Over the period of six months, such cases dropped by 10%.

Alcohol sales will be banned in shops between midnight and 5:30 a.m. in Kraków from 1 July.

Councillors approved the measure following complaints from residents about anti-social behaviour https://t.co/FSYXpiqdte

— Notes from Poland 🇵🇱 (@notesfrompoland) May 18, 2023

“We aimed to calm night time Kraków and we can see that this goal is being achieved,” said deputy mayor Bogusław Kośmider, quoted by public broadcaster TVP. “Kraków has quietly adapted to these changes and as a result, it is a little quieter…especially at night.”

Before the decision to introduce the ban was made last year, the municipal authorities surveyed more than 11,000 residents of Kraków and found that 54% were in favour of the ban.

For Kraków, this was the second attempt to introduce such regulations. A previous move was overruled by a court, which found that it violated the principle of equality because it only applied in one district of the city.

The mountain resort town of Zakopane has banned the sale of alcohol in shops between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. in an effort to reduce antisocial behaviour.

Other Polish cities have already introduced similar measures and the idea has been discussed in Warsaw https://t.co/SatD7bfJlY

— Notes from Poland 🇵🇱 (@notesfrompoland) September 16, 2022

“We expected the effects to be at a slightly lower level” based on what has been seen in other cities that introduced similar restrictions, Kośmider explained.

“We in Krakow introduced [the ban] in the whole city and I think that this difference [from restrictions in other places] resulted in a much greater reduction in police and municipal police interventions.”

Similar bans have already been introduced by the cities of Katowice, Poznań, Wrocław and Zakopane, among others. The idea has also been discussed in Warsaw.

Kraków’s authorities have also announced that the next step in the fight against excessive alcohol consumption will be to increase the number of concessions issued for products with lower alcohol content, such as wine and beer, and to reduce the number of licences for the sale of hard liquor.

Notes from Poland is run by a small editorial team and published by an independent, non-profit foundation that is funded through donations from our readers. We cannot do what we do without your support.

Main image credit: Milan Tvrdy / flickr.com

Agata Pyka is an assistant editor at Notes from Poland. She is a journalist and a political communication student at the University of Amsterdam. She specialises in Polish and European politics as well as investigative journalism and has previously written for Euractiv and The European Correspondent.

Podobne wpisy

Dodaj komentarz

Twój adres e-mail nie zostanie opublikowany. Wymagane pola są oznaczone *