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Streetwatchers reclaim the streets of Weyhe


Weyhe (30,500 inhabitants) in the vicinity of Bremen gives a first impression of being very peaceful. However, local residents a few years ago increasingly felt this wasn’t the case in practice. Young people, generally 13-19 year-olds, were carrying on loudly in public places, especially at night, often using drugs and drinking alcohol. Public places were being turned into rubbish dumps.  Parents were especially incensed that children’s playgrounds, nurseries and school playgrounds were often taken over for these activities.    

A lot of damage was also being done. A wooden hut, which had been built for local youngsters, at their request, was burnt down. A row of old trees was chopped down to the stumps.

For years nothing was done to stop this anti-social behaviour, which continued unabated. Some local people called for a private security service to be brought in, others wanted to bar young people from all public places. Eventually, the local council, the police and the local community group Pro-Youth got together and decided to pursue a different solution.


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Günther Meyer


Marcus Grosser


Günther Meyer and Marcus Grosser wrote this case study for Governance International in October 2011. The case study was updated in October 2014.

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