DENMARK - Copenhagen Central Station, the largest railway station in Denmark, has adopted a “creative” strategy to stop drug users from hanging around the crowded transportation hub: blaring classical marching tunes. Starting with speakers at a back entrance, they’ve expanded the practice to include all outdoor elevators. The official reason was to “preserve a steady flow of traffic,” but the din has proved to deter Copenhagen’s drug users, who no longer hang out there as much.
To find out how they feel about the station’s tactics, Vice caught up some of these drug users at the “Sundhedsrummet” municipal facility, which offers care and a safe location for people to shoot up.
“In the beginning it was excruciating, and they played it very loudly,” says Martin, 45. “You hurried through. It was so fucking loud. Even regular people would cover their ears.” Though he found the music “really annoying,” he says it wasn’t bad enough to keep people out when the weather got bad: “If it’s cold though, people will still hang out there. Folks can get used to anything.”
Another frequenter, dubbed “The Admiral,” says the music wasn’t loud enough to be effective: “Those who hang out there are so wasted, they couldn’t care less about the noise.” He wishes they’d use the opportunity to play something more enjoyable. “They could play some more Brahms and, what’s his name, Wagner, Mozart, or something,” he says. “Something different and more beautiful, you know. Ravel’s “Boléro” [Hums tune]. That’d be awesome.”
Kristina, 32, did find some of the music to her liking: “Over by the elevators in the back, they play classical music, which people really like. People just chill out there.” She says she understands why the station resorted to such measures to keep drug users, like herself, “from settling down, shooting up, and getting stoned.”
Thomas, 50, says he finds the music “fucking annoying.” But he also says he’ll stick it out if necessary: “It works as intended for most, but if staying there is your only option and it’s dark and cold, and the fixing places are closed, you’ll have to go there.”
Substance.com / August 7, 2014
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