Wednesday 27, December
Kai Wegner: Fence around Görli to be built “as quickly as possible”
Back in September, we reported on plans for Kreuzberg’s Görlitzer Park to be fenced off and closed at night, with the new security measures to be put in place by the beginning of 2024. Now, with the new year just around the corner, Berlin’s governing mayor Kai Wegner is sticking to his guns.
As he hinted when the plans were announced, Wegner is reiterating that closing off access to Görli at night will only be a temporary measure; an experiment more than a permanent solution. “We want to ensure as best we can that Görlitzer Park is pacified. And there is nothing wrong with testing this over a year as part of a model experiment,” the CDU politician recently told Deutsche Presse-Agentur. “My goal is that we build this fence as quickly as possible so that Görlitzer Park can once again become a place of relaxation where families with children, young people, and older people feel safe.” For Wegner and other proponents of the plan, closing Görli at night would free up police for operational work in the surrounding streets.
But many critics of the plans say that, instead of cutting back on drug trafficking or helping dealers find other sources of income, closing off the park at night will only push crime into nearby residential areas. For now, the security measures seem to be going ahead. Earlier this month, a state-owned urban development company was commissioned to equip Görli with a stable enclosure, for which almost two million euros have been budgeted.