Beaches bemoan tippler takeover

Nädalavahetusel avanes Stroomi rannas selline pilt.

PHOTO: Toomas Tatar

With mere two weeks gone by after entry into force of the public-drinking-allowed amendment, beach security says: at water’s edge, consumption of alcohol and the related problems are decidedly on the rise.

G4S Eesti, involved in watching after beaches of Tallinn, advises city government to use its legal rights to ban consumption of alcohol on bathing areas.

«The one side of the coin is consumption of alcohol in beach areas, in view of small children, and in a manner disturbing others. The other side being breaking of the bottles – which happens often – and bottles being cast into the sea. On the beaches of Tallinn, this has been a problem for years already,» said G4S Eesti beach watch chief Henry Seemel, in his letter to city government.

According to Mr Seemel, drinking has significantly increased on beaches as the law amendment entered into force. People who used to be in a bush back somewhere, with their bottles, have now – aware of their new rights – come on the beach to tipple. «Over this past week, there have been repeated cases of disputes between people on beaches and coast watch guards,» said Mr Seemel.

Therefore, G4S Eesti advises the local government to impose limits to consumption of alcohol on the beaches.

Tallinn deputy mayor Kalle Klandorf said that as the law has just recently entered into force, the city government has not had thorough discussions on the topic as the members of it are scattered at the moment and only reconvene at the beginning of August. «And I guess by then the picture will be clearer. At the moment, Pirita city district government has applied for drinking to be banned on the beach. If the other districts think the same regarding beach areas, we will surely see what our legal options are and what decision we are able to take,» Mr Klandorf told Postimees.

According to the deputy mayor, Tallinn would also be able to see that the ban be enforced – unlike some other local governments.

«For instance: our partners who guard the beach areas are authorised to make admonitions and if their orders aren’t obeyed, they have the option to call the police,» said Mr Klandorf.

According to Northern Prefecture press representative Ilmar Kahro, that would be a prudent solution. «A security worker gives the person the order to stop infringing the law; if this is not followed, he calls the police. This is the way it used to work well in the Old Town’s so-called Bermuda Triangle,» said Mr Kahro.

Probably, there will be no limits to drinking on Tallinn’s beaches. «Should we opt to do that, then probably from next year. The new law has only been in force for two weeks, it is difficult for us to draw any conclusions so fast,» said Mr Klandorf.