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Signs to be written Polish

SIGNS written in Polish warning people not to drink in public are set to be installed in a Leith park.

A recent surge in police call-outs to Pilrig Park has been put down to the fact that drinking in public is legal across much of Poland.

Police believe the majority of the Polish people are not aware that they are breaking a city council bylaw, which is punishable by a heavy fine.

Leith community beat officer PC Mark Muir said the park was also a known gathering place for underage drinkers, and had suffered from vandalism and antisocial behaviour in the past. He said erecting signs with a brief warning in Polish should result in a drop in the overall number of call-outs, keeping officers free to deal with more serious crimes.

He said: "We have had quite a problem with Polish drinkers in the park.

"We are trying to get into the park and charge people for drinking in public, not just the Polish but underage drinkers as well.

"It is a bylaw and we are trying get signs put up in Polish saying just that. It is a park that has had its problems in the past."

Leith has a significant Polish population which, since the country's admission into the EU in 2004, has integrated well with the local community.

A range of Polish shops and businesses have opened up and politicians in the area have often praised both the Poles and the Leithers for the way they have settled together.

Edinburgh-based Polish businessman Albert Fret, who runs a website for Poles in Scotland said the problem was most likely caused by a difference in cultures.

He said: "With the lighter nights coming I think some people think it is nice to relax in a park with one or two beers and think it is not a problem.

"It is something that would happen in Poland and be perfectly normal. But the law is the law and people have to know, and I think this sign would be a good thing for that."

The Balfour Street park has had an image problem for a number of years, with many local people saying they are too frightened to walk through it after dark. Police have been lobbying the council for years to improve the lighting.

Leith Central Community Council chairman Stewart Blaik said: "It can be an intimidating place and you don't get many folk going in after dark on their own.

"Even the dog walkers tend to go along the outside and let their dogs run into the middle.

"The signs will be there just to let the Polish people know that they can't drink there."


Re: Signs to be written Polish

ban on drinking in public scotland

ban in england

Although I think it's an excellent law, based on the above two articles it seems that one area can ban drinking in public, while others don't bother. Therefore I reckon it's perfectly reasonable to expect that they put up signs in different languages so that tourists or migrant workers are aware they might be breaking the law when in that area. If there were a blanket countrywide ban then people would be more aware of it. As it stands even I didn't realise that some parts of the country had rendered it illegal. I don't know of anywhere in London where that's the case. It seems we are turning into the united states of the UK with different rules for different areas...

I don't recall seeing anyone walking around drinking in the streets of Poland when I've visited. Other people in the street would probably tell them off if they did that. People are much more open about confronting each other in Poland, but then (at present) you're slightly less likely to be knifed or shot over there if you tell a teen hooligan off. I certainly wouldn't walk around with a beer on the streets of Poland for fear of the dirty looks I'd get.

Re: Signs to be written Polish

>>I don't recall seeing anyone walking around drinking in the streets of Poland when I've visited.

come north ...

meet the local yokels staggering home down the footpath on friday afternoons ... a bottle of something hopeful held tightly in one of their out-flung-for-balance hands ...

the hordes of workmen who explode out of seemingly small cars into the village shop and buy up many bottles of beer each (driver included) ... sometimes they hang around the parking space until they've had a few and then disappear back into the tardis on wheels ...

the miscellaneous country types on bicycles with brown bottles poking out of the bag tied on the back, and a careless attitude towards balance, direction and newton's laws of motion.

the variation on the above who is a local unkempt ancient usually smelling strongly of a mixture of sweat, cow dung and beer (all stale) and who staggers towards my car from his seat on the village shop window, confident that I will give him a lift a couple of kilometres down the road towards his den and who, after spending those few km alternating between drunken (but cheerful) kashubian, german and something approximating Polish, continues to regale me with who knows what (I certainly don't) while sitting with his legs out the door, his bum on the seat and no intention whatsoever of leaving until I start nudging the car forwards in desperation.

city slickers we ain't.

Re: Signs to be written Polish

Drinking in parks is banned in Warsaw (and strictly enforced with fines).

Getting sloshed in public in my village is condoned by all and sundry in power.