Nightlife in Namur
Namur is a city of some 110,000 inhabitants with a downtown area where residents, students, and what we call the “Horeca” sector (hotels, restaurants and cafés) mingle. The University of Namur and a number of other institutions of higher learning are downtown, giving the area a lively student life. As well, many festive events take place downtown all year long.
The project, which began in 2012, aims to promote and/or revitalize nightlife in the downtown area of Wallonia’s capital while guaranteeing a framework that maintains both public order and the population’s quality of life while taking into account at-risk behaviour (alcohol consumption and driving under the influence).
The Nightlife project involves the “Horeca” sector (hotels, restaurants and cafés), student life and all of the festivals and events that take place downtown. This initiative includes compliance with legal and regulatory provisions, general safety, prevention and partnership. In this context, a number of initiatives have been taken. Here are the biggest ones:
- Sharing an image of the phenomenon (nuisances related to nightlife in downtown Namur)
- The development of a "Nightlife Charter" for Horeca establishments within a defined perimeter and reciprocal commitments
- Implementation of a Horeca group in partnership with the city of Namur to foster information sharing and the accessibility of a common database for the Horeca sector
- Development of an internal police directive concerning targeted spatio-temporal police presence from different departments (Response, Special Response Team, Canine Brigade, Neighbourhood Inspector, etc.) that aims to ensure public order and prevention or cessation of nuisances and incivility of all kinds, including problems related to alcohol consumption
- Implementing a ticketing procedure (Horeca - SAC) in collaboration with administrative authorities, with an aim to facilitating files to the attention of the administrative authority.
Although we are currently evaluating the charter, we can already gain insight from the aforementioned objectives:
- Reduced incivility related to nightlife downtown
- Sensitive reinforcement of police presence for the benefit of the entire population
- Implementing a collaboration (partnership) process with managers of establishments and/or event organizers- Implementing a complaint/grievance processing procedure that aims to facilitate police work, targeting of disruptive establishments and measures taken by administrative authorities.