North Tallinn district hires private security firm to combat youth disorder

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North Tallinn district elder Manuela Pihlap with private security personnel hired to patrol the Balti Jaam district. Source: North Tallinn District social media page

Tallinn city authorities have hired a private security firm to help tackle the issue of hooliganism in the Balti Jaam train station district, one which has reportedly been going on for months.

The area is adjacent to a large number of bars, eateries and other venues since its redevelopment over the past decade, but since last summer reports emerged of large numbers of youths engaging in public order violations including drunkenness in the streets, vandalizing private property and intimidating the public.

North Tallinn (Põhja Tallinn) district elder and city government spokesperson Maneula Pihlap noted on the district's social media page that regular Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) and Tallinn Municipal Police (MuPo) had been insufficient to tackle the issue.

She said: "We have good cooperation with the PPA and MuPo, but considering the size of the problem, we definitely need more strength in order to ensure order and safety."

Starting Saturday September 11, the firm, Patriot Security OÜ, is to patrol the area around the Balti Jaam train station and Kopli street. 

The firm will work in conjunction with the PPA and local residents and will modify its tactics as needed, the district said. Its contract is initially set to run to November 30, when the situation will be reviewed.

The region abuts on to the Telliskivi Loomelinnak (Creative City), a major redevelopment of former, mostly Soviet-era industrial buildings and territory. One source told ERR News in June, by which time the issue was well-known, that the business area is very tightly controlled by business chiefs there and little to nothing had been done to address the problems of anti-social behavior.

Coronavirus restrictions were lifted in phases through May and June, later replaced by requirements for entertainment businesses to conduct vaccination or testing certification checks.

Tallinn city authorities as a whole have ruled that from this month, alcohol may not be sold at venues in the capital from 2 a.m. to 6.a.m the next morning weekdays, and from 3 a.m. to 7 a.m. weekends, again prompted out of concern for public disorder.

Alcohol sales in stores are barred between the hours of 10 p.m and 10 a.m. the next morning.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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