Dealing with Drug-Dealing: Berlin’s Pink Boxes in Public Park Stir Up Controversy

Written by | Monday, May 13th, 2019

Berlin implemented a new policy to clear dealers out of its Görlitzer Park by marking areas for drug-dealing by spray-painted pink boxes. The ‘pink zone’ should serve to carry out transactions for dealers, leaving the rest of the park safe. “This method has purely practical reasoning behind it,” claims a park manager Cengiz Demirci, though this reasoning seems to be unacceptable for most of the German authorities.

Görlitzer Park has been attracting an increasing number of drug dealers for many years.  Visitors of the park – local people and tourists – were reluctant to visit the place. Therefore, after repeated, yet failed attempts, to resolve the issue, the local administrations agreed on the ‘pink zone’ solution. However, the move was widely criticized by various officials. Police suggests that a better approach would be to ensure that the park is under constant police monitoring. Demirici himself presumes that the most effective solution would be to give away the work permits as the majority of dealers is comprised of asylum seekers.

Another criticism regards the message behind the policy: “If this is true, then it marks the capitulation of our constitutional state. We should not be issuing the dealers with a license to deal,” claims Marlene Mortler from Christian Social Union. Although previously local governments have declared the new policy represents a “zero tolerance” attitude towards drug dealers in Görlitzer Park, the situation has not changed since then. According to informed sources, none of the drug dealers abides by the new rule. Therefore, after decades of persistent problems with the Görlitzer Park situation, the standing-room policy, the official name for ‘pink zone’ spraying, does not seem to solve the long-term drug-dealing issue.

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