Drinking alcohol on the boulevards and beaches on the Vistula River is illegal as long as the pandemic continues. Councilor Anna Auksel-Seukutowicz proposes that the ban should be maintained also after its end. In her opinion, it will improve security.
The ban on drinking alcohol in public places, including places previously excluded from this rule, such as boulevards and Poniatówka beach, was introduced by Warsaw councilors on March 19. Due to the spread of the coronavirus, it was supposed to run until June 30, 2020, but already in May councilors decided that it should be extended until the end of the epidemic. Support for this decision was then expressed by 58 out of 60 councilors.
The councilor of the Civic Coalition now proposes that the ban should be maintained after the lifting of the pandemic restrictions. – I believe that a complete ban on alcoholic beverages on the Vistula boulevards is very much needed. This will improve safety in these places – said Anna Auksel-Sekutowicz.
She added that if the majority of councilors would not support this solution, a ban should be introduced at least for the summer months. It would be in force from June to the end of September, when the most people gather on the Vistula.
Councilors are not unanimous
The councilor argued that the police statistics indicate the legitimacy of the ban. She presented her proposal at a meeting of the Security and Order Committee of the Capital City of Warsaw Warsaw. Data on the number of crimes disclosed on the boulevards were also presented. For example, in 2018 there were 90 thefts there, in 2019 – 33, and in the previous year – 26. In 2018 and 2019 there were 5 robberies, in 2020 – 4. There were also cases of beatings – 7, 3 and 2, respectively.
Auksel-Sekutowicz admitted that she had discussed the introduction of the alcohol ban with some council members and that her idea was not met with unanimous approval. However, she expressed the hope that he could be accepted by the Warsaw Council.
PiS councilor Maciej Binkowski spoke against the ban in an interview with PAP. – I am against keeping this ban. Maintaining it just for the sake of easier and more convenient administration of these places is going the easy way. The boulevards should be civilized, he stressed.
Vistula areas, which are a popular meeting place for Warsaw residents from spring to autumn, have been exempt from the ban on drinking alcohol in public places since 2018. The Warsaw Council decided in the spring of last year that restoring this rule during the epidemic will reduce the risk of the virus spreading.
Main photo source: Piotr Krajewski / press materials