Swiss cities are searching for the right recipe against street dealing –

In Switzerland, the recent collapse in the drug market and the difficulty of cities coping with this congestion has revived an old debate about fighting the street bargain, which periodically returns in political news.

At the end of the eighties, drugs exploded in plain sight. The infamous Platzspitz, in Zurich, is a symbol of what would be called “open drug scenes”.

Geneva would not know such a ghetto, but the sale takes place in various public places. The situation was such that the authorities responded and took measures that were still unprecedented at that time in the world: it would be the beginnings of the orderly distribution of heroin and the opening of injection facilities.

>> Read about it: Quai 9, Geneva’s local drugstore, opened 20 years ago

Four Pillars Policy

These solutions are the result of the so-called four-pillar policy, adopted by the union in the 1990s and still in force today: prevention, suppression, treatment and survival.

“In the 1990s, when we had ideological discussions in many countries, Switzerland made very practical decisions that made it possible to save thousands of people,” she was welcomed Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. by RTS Deputy Director of Addiction Frank Zubel. “With prescription heroin, for example, we’ve pulled their best customers off the drug market.”

Switzerland made very practical decisions that saved thousands of people

Frank Zobel, Deputy Director of Addiction Switzerland

Between prevention and repression

But the merchants never really disappear: they change places, and their number fluctuates until the arrival of the next inhabitants and merchants, like the bustle of some restaurants installed on the edge of the square. From Ripon to Lausanne. Then the police intervene by punching or increasing their daily presence.

At first, Geneva and Lausanne draw a positive budget from their actions. “The presence of clients in the field and the very strong work of lobbying had their effects,” he was welcomed in 2016 at Temps Present the PLR ​​Pierre Maudi, then State Counsellor at the head of the Geneva Security Department.

Two years later, still in TempsPresent, his counterpart in Lausanne, Pierre-Antoine Hildebrand, mentioned a split-preventive apparatus on the one hand with a “permanent presence” and repressive on the other, with “as many arrests as before”.

“You’ll never make this go away.”

“I’ve been able to push the problem back a little bit, but other, more pressing problems are taking its place,” but Frank Zobel’s nuances. “You have profitable traffic, with demand. You’ll never be able to get rid of that. But maybe you can find arrangements where the situation is bearable and residents are protected.”

Today, it is the crack appearance in Geneva that is worrying. Residents and merchants are again ringing alarm bells and wanting the police to act.

>> More details in our article: The use of crack disrupts life in the Bacques neighborhood of Geneva

But it is easier said than done: “When we say that we can eliminate the street bargain by daily presence in these sensitive places, I think it is a hoax. We obviously cannot do that, otherwise it will be at the expense of other measures”, warned the state adviser in Geneva Mauro Bogga Sunday at 7:30 p.m.

When I say we can eliminate the street bargain by being daily in these sensitive places, I think it’s a hoax

Member of the State Council Mauro Bogga. [Salvatore Di Nolfi - Keystone ]

Mauro Boggia, Geneva State Counsellor in charge of health and safety

Today, as yesterday, a difficult note is necessary: ​​the ancient struggle against drugs is an eternal beginning.

>> Also hear the analysis of University of Geneva sociology professor and drug policy specialist Sandro Catasin at 7:30 PM:

Sandro Catasin, sociologist at UNIGE, talks about drug policy in Switzerland [RTS]

Sandro Catasin, Sociologist at UNIGE, talks about drug policy in Switzerland / 7:30 pm / 2 min. / Today at 7:30 pm

TV Subject: Cecil Doering and Joel Poissar
Adaptation to the Web: Vincent Sherpeloud

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