New Era in Christiania: Targeted Enhanced Punishment Zone Takes Effect
Copenhagen Police have taken a drastic step in combating the organized hash trade in the famous Pusher Street of Christiania. Effective from January 10, 2024, at 12 pm, a targeted enhanced punishment zone is being implemented, encompassing the entire Christiania area and parts of the surrounding areas. This measure, lasting until July 10, 2024, is a response to the blatant and systematic hash trade that has long characterized the street.
This new punishment zone results from recently introduced laws allowing the police to designate specific areas for enhanced penalties, especially when the trade in euphoric substances significantly contributes to community unrest. In this zone, both buyers and sellers of illegal substances will face stricter penalties, a measure presumed to significantly dampen drug trafficking.
Anne Tønnes, the Police Director of Copenhagen Police, expresses that this enhanced punishment zone is seen as an effective tool in fighting the blatant hash trade. “We will target both sellers and buyers. They can expect significantly harsher penalties if caught with illegal substances,” says Tønnes. This is part of a broader plan to permanently close down the hash trade in Christiania and ensure the safety of the area’s residents.
The new legal changes involve serious consequences for those who break the law within the punishment zone. Buyers of illegal substances will initially be sentenced to prison by the second offense. Additionally, fines are doubled for the first offense in the zone, meaning that possession of even small amounts of hash can result in a fine of 4,000 kroner. Similarly, the penalty for violating zone prohibitions, which the police can issue to individuals involved in hash trade, is doubled.
It’s important to note that this enhanced punishment zone is different from a stop-and-search zone, where the police have extended powers to conduct searches without concrete suspicion. The purpose of the punishment zone is specifically to tackle drug-related crime and increase the security of Christiania’s residents and visitors.
This development is a clear signal that the authorities are determined to combat drug-related crime and ensure safety in the city’s unique and culturally rich areas. However, the long-term impact of this enhanced punishment zone on crime levels and community life in Christiania remains to be seen.