In Prague’s Anděl, Frustration Mounts Amid Beggars, Thieves and Drug Addicts

The pedestrian zone near the Anděl metro station is one of the busiest areas in the city, further worsened by the ongoing closure of the Na Knížecí train stop.

Besides hurrying pedestrians, you can easily see drunk people, drug addicts, beggars, and organized thief groups. 

It takes less than five minutes for a person to realize what’s wrong with this area. In the best-case scenario, someone will bother you asking for a cigarette or money, and in the worst case, you can become a victim of theft.

The steps leading to Anděl metro station are occupied by drunks and addicts that frequently use nearby trees as their bathroom. The occasional loud quarrels between them can be heard throughout the area.

The fact that the zone is plagued by crimes and inadequate behavior has been confirmed again this week. While monitoring the area, police heard loud a verbal dispute between a man and two women who had a minor with them.

“The police first resolved the tension and then found out what had happened. The 30-year-old man said he was standing at a tram stop and suddenly felt someone reaching into his pocket. To avoid being robbed, he shouted at the boy who was standing close to him,” said a spokeswoman for the Municipal Police Irena Seifertová.

Due to the closure of Na Knížecí since November 1, 2020, some bus stops were also temporarily relocated (for example, to Bozděchova Street and Stroupežnicky Street), which also contributes to an unusually high concentration of pedestrians near Anděl.

The repair works at the Na Knížecí station are to be completed in mid-October 2021, and representatives of the city district believe that the situation at Anděl will eventually improve.

“Anděl is frequented by many people who use addictive substances. The police and special non-profit organizations are monitoring the situation. The low number of low-threshold facilities for addicts in Prague is one of the causes of the problem, and, as a consequence, the increased number of addicts in Prague 5 now threatens the security of the residents,” said Petr Lachnit, City Councilor for Security and Crime Prevention.

“An important step is to increase the number of contact centers that help drug addicts. Presently, Prague is working on a document, the Drug Policy Strategy of the Capital City of Prague (further on as “CCP Strategy”) for the Period from 2021 to 2027, which will outline the exact action strategy for the area,” added Lachnit.

According to him, the situation at Anděl is also regularly addressed by the security commission, with a patrol of both the city and state police having been set up.

The management of the city district is currently negotiating an increase in the number of police officers for the zone.

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