Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Police prepared for young Danes' "invasion" of Prague

18 February 2013

Prague, Feb 15 (CTK) - Some 6000 young Danes are to arrive in Prague for holiday this week and the police are therefore to keep reinforced patrols in the street then, police spokeswoman Eva Kropacova said Friday, referring to information from the Danish Embassy.

The Danish holiday will last for another week, she added.

In the past days, the police had to intervene in tens of incidents of drunk Danes who were brawling and demolishing hotel equipment.

"We are prepared. We have prepared enough policemen to be patrolling the streets if it is needed also during the whole next week, too, we suppose," Kropacova said.

About 100 policemen are on standby duty along with members of a special riot unit, she noted.

Tens of municipal policemen are to help the national police in Prague. They will be deployed to protect safety in the city centre and public transport means in connection with the Danes' arrival.

Besides, some 200 policemen, regularly patrolling the streets, will be prepared to help if need be.

The Prague emergency service has reported on its website that health care workers treated 28 foreigners, including 16 underage ones, in the past three days.

They suffered from indigestion caused by extensive alcohol consumption, head and limb injuries caused by falls in drunkenness, and slashings by broken glass, the emergency service said.

Kropacova said some 8000 foreign students had visited Prague so far. They stay for two to three days on average.

Since the beginning of the week the police have handled about ten incidents with them a day.

A travel agency transports young Danes to Prague by coach but it does not organise the rest of the programme, including accommodation, Kropacova said, adding that some of them even change hotels during their short stay in the Czech capital.

According to the police's previous information, the (Danish) students have caused damage worth hundreds of thousands of crowns to the equipment of hotels.

On Wednesday, for example, they caused a damage of over 100,000 crowns in a hotel. On the same day, a group of Danes put up a brawl in another hotel and one student had to be hospitalised.

However, Kropacova said most of the damage had been covered from the deposit they had to pay at hotels or from their accounts.

Danish press reports that Prague is popular among Danish tourists, and some 200,000 of them visit it annually. But such mass trips of the youth are a new phenomenon, it writes.

"Prague is a very beautiful city. However, it attracts the youth by cheap beer as well," Bergenske Tidende paper quotes Danish Ambassador to Prague Christian Hoppe as saying.

Jyllands-Posten daily has reported about the Rejsemaegleren travel agency that focuses on young Danes' trips to Prague.

Young Danes often describe their visit to Prague as a nightmare in Danish papers.

Nikolai Toftegaard, a Danish secondary school student, was stabbed outside a night club in Prague centre though he was not involved in a previous brawl at a disco, he said.

Danish press also writes that clients of the Rejsemaegleren agency are complaining about its trips describing them as chaotic and badly organised.

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