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„Yes to confetti - no to coma": Campaign against binge drinking during carnival in Bonn

„Yes to confetti - no to coma" : Campaign against binge drinking during carnival in Bonn

The city of Bonn and the police want to prevent binge excesses in advance with a three-part concept consisting of "prevention, control and help". From Weiberfastnacht on, there will be a massive contingent of police and city council services on the streets.

Put on the costume, a few streamers around the neck and go off together with others: For many children and young people, the upcoming carnival days are a first opportunity to celebrate with classmates or friends.

In order to create a relaxed party atmosphere, however, many a bottle of juice or coke is filled with a high-proof drink. With serious consequences: In the past year alone, 17 young people in Bonn had to be hospitalized by the rescue service in a comatose state. "But these were only the absolutely serious cases," explains Gerd Peter, head of the Ramersdorf police station. "Of course, we encountered many drunken youths, but we were able to have their parents pick them up."

Under the motto „Yes to confetti – no to coma", the city, the police and the addiction prevention unit of Caritas and Diakonie want to work together to ensure that young people celebrate without remorse. With a three-part concept consisting of "prevention, control and offer", alcohol excesses are to be avoided in advance.

At the weekend, the first carnival processions will pass through Bonn

It all starts on the weekend with trains in Tannenbusch, Ippendorf and Kessenich. Then the "Bonn Event Sprinter" of "update", the addiction prevention service of Caritas and Diakonisches Werk, will be on site. From Weiberfastnacht onwards, a massive contingent of police and city planning services will be on the streets to keep an eye on the young carnivalists in particular. "We will be on site with all available forces", assures Carsten Sperling, head of the city planning service of the city of Bonn.

Around 50 colleagues will be on the streets in the city on carnival days, 19 each on Weiberfastnacht and Rosenmontag alone, with the focus on youth protection. The police will be on the streets from 8 a.m. on both Weiberfastnacht and Rosenmontag in order to specifically address the young people. "Last year it was relatively quiet, because we started early with the dangerous persons address", says Gerd Peter. This is the strategy the police are following again this year.

The authorities are also appealing to parents to ensure that children and adolescents do not start drinking alcoholic beverages at home. If minors are picked up intoxicated, the parents are informed. If parents cannot be reached, their children are taken to youth protection centres.

Pre-season plans to communicate with the young „Jecken“

Those who are brought to a hospital by the rescue service are visited by follow-up employees the next day. "In the process, we experience that the young people and their parents are often very embarrassed," says Marion Ammelung, coordinator of the "Bonn Event Sprinter". Under the motto "Celebrate without hassle ... we're there", they want to talk to the youngsters in advance. At the sprinter bus, alcohol is exchanged for mobile phone gloves, smoothies, hot drinks and small "safe-packs". In addition, the addiction prevention team goes through the crowd with vendor's trays in order to reach as many revellers as possible. They offer young people the opportunity to have their blood alcohol levels tested.

Once again this year, there will be the After School Party at Weiberfastnacht in the marquee on Münsterplatz. From 1 pm, 14 to 17 year olds will party without alcohol and without adults. However, supervision will be provided. Last year about 1000 young Jecken celebrated there.

Original text: Gabriele Immenkeppel

Translation: Mareike Graepel