Early Curfew for Switzerland’s Teens

Swiss towns and villages are reportedly enacting a 10 p.m. curfew for teenagers 16 and under in an attempt to reduce late night noise, vandalism and underage drinking

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REUTERS / Christian Hartmann

Teenagers jump into Lake Zurich on a hot sunny summer day in Kuesnacht, August 19, 2012.

Swiss towns and villages are enacting a 10 p.m. curfew for teenagers 16 and under in attempt to reduce late night noise, vandalism and underage drinking, the BBC reports. But the push to curb teenage mischief is straining relations with an already agitated age group. Cue the Beastie Boys.

The tourist town of Interlaken pioneered the early curfew movement in 2006 and other Swiss towns have since followed suit. According to Interlaken police officer Hans Peter Buhlmann, residents complained of loud teenagers carousing in the community’s  town center; the problem ceased to exist once the curfew was in place.

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In fact, Interlaken teens are only allowed out in public after 10 p.m. if accompanied by a parent. But how do you enforce it? According to the BBC,  the town of Kehrsatz, a small town near the capital Bern, is using a security company with its origins in a motorcycle club (think Hell’s Angels) to monitor the streets. While the company,  Broncos Security, is no longer associated with the club, Broncos MC, they do have the tough task of managing Kehrsatz’s disorderly teenagers. Swiss law allows the Broncos to restrain and handcuff a young person if necessary.

Meanwhile Switzerland’s angst-y teenagers are getting even more angst-y and complaining that there is a lack space for young people to socialize — prompting more of the hanging out in parks and public areas that got the older generation so exercised in the first place.

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Earlier this year teenagers in Kehrsatz staged a late night party in protest at the recently implemented curfew. Last year youngsters hosted a dance party of more than 25,000 people in the streets of Bern. Felix Graf, a member of Bern’s young Socialist Party, told the BBC it was an indication that a nationwide curfew might not bode well. “It was a demonstration for more room, for more free time and space for young people.”

Careful Switzerland. The Beastie Boys have taught us what happens when the youth are feeling repressed.

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