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Budapest acts to reduce anti-social behaviour in 'party district'

Budapest party district
Budapest party district Copyright cleared
Copyright cleared
By Nóra Shenouda with Philip Andrew Churm
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Authorities in Budapest have begun taking action to reduce anti-social behaviour in the city's 'party district' which has blighted the lives of many residents.

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Stag parties with shouting people dropping litter and even releasing bodily fluids on the streets - this is an average weekend on the streets of the so-called party district of Budapest.

Many local residents refuse to call it the "party district" arguing that it was one a residential area with schools, doctors' offices and people getting on with their lives.

Sándor Szikszai lives there and says when his son was little he regularly fell asleep during classes, because he could not sleep during the night because of the noise.

"When you are taking your child to the kindergarden, you have to walk through an [obstacle] course of excrement and urine," he says "And sometimes parents are faced with the sight of used condoms pulled onto the fence of the kindergarden. 

"There was one case when a drunken tourist entered the kindergarden and lay down to sleep there."

Many people cannot afford to move away, because they live in city-owned flats or are too old.

But Erzsébetváros', Budapest's seventh district of Budapest, Mayor Péter Niedermüller told Euronews he hoped to introduce more cultural events to attract more responsible crowds and to inform tourists when they arrive.

"We already handed out leaflets at the airport and we tried to alert tourists that they could face huge penalties if they mess up the public spaces, if they don't behave appropriately if they are screaming during the night and we prepare films which educate them about what kind of behaviour is not accepted," he said. 

As the municipality is underfinanced, local restaurant and nightclub owners have set up a fund to help them out. They clean the streets after closing time and they pay for security personnel who are patrolling with the official guards of the local council.

The so-called 'party district' is just eight streets in the seventh district of Budapest and on busy days hosts up to 25,000 and 35,000 people.

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