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Old 02.07.2012, 00:09
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Police - Stop and Frisk

What are the rules governing Police stop and searches? I live in Brooklyn, NY and folks here are kinda sensitive about the Stop and Frisk police tactics due to profiling. Is Stop and Frisk a common police strategy in Switzerland?

I was down at the Sihlquai last week and observed the police 'randomly' stop and search 3 different groups. After a pat down and search of possessions, 2 of the stops resulted in all being let go. In the third, the police found a nice fat sack of ganja (5 grams at least). I was expecting the cops to slap cuffs on the guys and take him, but they just wrote him a ticket and went on their way. Seemed like a whole lot of work, just to write a ticket.
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Old 02.07.2012, 00:15
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Re: Police - Stop and Frisk

did you get your ganja back?
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Old 02.07.2012, 00:33
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Re: Police - Stop and Frisk

Swiss police are very relaxed when it comes to weed. Police have every right to search any person they feel looks suspicious. It does't happen to often. Mostly to young people who are looking shady. Particularly for underage drinking. I've never heard of a case foreigners being pick out for frisks.
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Old 02.07.2012, 03:18
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Re: Police - Stop and Frisk

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What are the rules governing Police stop and searches? I live in Brooklyn, NY and folks here are kinda sensitive about the Stop and Frisk police tactics due to profiling. Is Stop and Frisk a common police strategy in Switzerland?

I was down at the Sihlquai last week and observed the police 'randomly' stop and search 3 different groups. After a pat down and search of possessions, 2 of the stops resulted in all being let go. In the third, the police found a nice fat sack of ganja (5 grams at least). I was expecting the cops to slap cuffs on the guys and take him, but they just wrote him a ticket and went on their way. Seemed like a whole lot of work, just to write a ticket.
Here you have to forget about words like profiling, this is really unlike anywhere else and in many eyes view un pc, they however don't give a toss what people think and do things the way they do them.

As the above post says if they found some pot, big deal, ticket and telling off perhaps; you will be smelling loads of it at any station, but I would be very wary of stoping them searching you if they are so enclined. Cops will be very friendly until you step into their black area. Most things are black and white here with very few shades of grey.

you have to understand that this is a country where if drunken teenagers were throwing litter about an 80 year old woman will most likely tell them off and insist they pick it up, 9 times out of 10 they will and apologise!
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Old 02.07.2012, 09:22
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Re: Police - Stop and Frisk

Yeah, good points. If you are coming here from NYC then welcome to a much much much lower crime environment. Coppers are coppers in any country and a portion will be power crazed tossers, so trying to explain their own laws to the them would likely do you about as much good as in NYC. For people who've lived in big cities like NYC and London, it's quite amusing to go to what Swiss think are dodgy neighbourhoods here. Very tame. Enjoy.
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Old 02.07.2012, 10:12
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Re: Police - Stop and Frisk

There's a small area not far from a kids' play area at the Chinagarten which is often visited by the local police looking for drugs. The police have dogs with them and it's amazing how many times they come up trumps and find something, hauling off one or two of them in handcuffs.

I'm not really a criminal mastermind but I'm amazed that these dodgy blokes keep coming back to the same spot where they must know the police are going to roll around at some point. Especially if it's all happening in the vicinity of a kids' play area - for the police it must be like the proverbial shooting fish in a barrel...
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Old 02.07.2012, 10:39
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Re: Police - Stop and Frisk

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I'm not really a criminal mastermind but I'm amazed that these dodgy blokes keep coming back to the same spot where they must know the police are going to roll around at some point. Especially if it's all happening in the vicinity of a kids' play area - for the police it must be like the proverbial shooting fish in a barrel...
Thing is Chinagarten, Sihlquai, around Letten and a few other areas are known spots for buying drugs, so the small dealers go there because that's where the clients are. And since quite a few of the dealers have ongoing asylum requests it's not like they'd pay the fine either.. It's about time we decriminalize weed anyway, it's not like it ever stopped anyone from smoking in the public..
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Old 02.07.2012, 10:45
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Re: Police - Stop and Frisk

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Thing is Chinagarten, Sihlquai, around Letten and a few other areas are known spots for buying drugs, so the small dealers go there because that's where the clients are. And since quite a few of the dealers have ongoing asylum requests it's not like they'd pay the fine either.. It's about time we decriminalize weed anyway, it's not like it ever stopped anyone from smoking in the public..
I just wish they'd bugger off from the kids' area but that's another thread...
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Old 02.07.2012, 12:05
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Re: Police - Stop and Frisk

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I've never heard of a case foreigners being pick out for frisks.
Ride the 32 bus a couple of times and you'll see the Bulls jump on, look around and schlepp off a couple of black guys quite regularly.

People getting frisked tend usually to be of foreign appearance. But that could be me imposing my prejudices.

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There's a small area not far from a kids' play area at the Chinagarten which is often visited by the local police looking for drugs. The police have dogs with them and it's amazing how many times they come up trumps and find something, hauling off one or two of them in handcuffs.

I'm not really a criminal mastermind but I'm amazed that these dodgy blokes keep coming back to the same spot where they must know the police are going to roll around at some point. Especially if it's all happening in the vicinity of a kids' play area - for the police it must be like the proverbial shooting fish in a barrel...
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I just wish they'd bugger off from the kids' area but that's another thread...
Frankly Apparently, the dealers were there long before the pesky rich kids and their nannies started ruining it for everyone with brightly coloured plastic toys and designer polo tops.

Everyone at least knows their place. It kinda works.
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Old 02.07.2012, 13:17
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Re: Police - Stop and Frisk

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Frankly Apparently, the dealers were there long before the pesky rich kids and their nannies started ruining it for everyone with brightly coloured plastic toys and designer polo tops.

Everyone at least knows their place. It kinda works.
Easy, tiger...

EDIT: thinking about it - the area the dodgy blokes are populating now is relatively new since they demolished the old kiosk by the Hafen Riesbach and built that new funky restaurant. They used to hang around there.

Last edited by Sandgrounder; 02.07.2012 at 13:41. Reason: Afterthought.
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Old 02.07.2012, 17:21
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Re: Police - Stop and Frisk

I take it that the notion of 'probable cause' does not exist in Switzerland. What protections then do Swiss have against unreasonable search and seizure? Can Swiss cops really walk up on a person and search them without cause?
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Old 02.07.2012, 17:27
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Re: Police - Stop and Frisk

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I take it that the notion of 'probable cause' does not exist in Switzerland. What protections then do Swiss have against unreasonable search and seizure? Can Swiss cops really walk up on a person and search them without cause?
We simply assume that our cops are reasonable I suppose.
If you stay here for a while you will find that the average Swiss has much more trust in authorities than other nationalities, as long as the search is conducted in a civil, respectful manner most Swiss won't object.
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Old 02.07.2012, 17:48
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Re: Police - Stop and Frisk

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If you stay here for a while you will find that the average Swiss has much more trust in authorities than other nationalitiesas long as the search is conducted in a civil, respectful manner most Swiss won't object.
Are you saying that the Swiss don't mind being screwed so long as it's done gently and with a little bit of lubrication?

I was very surprised how civilized and respectful the police were. But the question still remains for me, the legality of it all.
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Old 02.07.2012, 17:49
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Re: Police - Stop and Frisk

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We simply assume that our cops are reasonable I suppose.
If you stay here for a while you will find that the average Swiss has much more trust in authorities than other nationalities, as long as the search is conducted in a civil, respectful manner most Swiss won't object.
the problem being, of course, that swiss cops are not randomly searching the 'average' swiss, but tend to profile just as they do in brooklyn (god, i loved taking the afternoon off high school and heading down to prospect park!). i've seen it here in lausanne but only with groups of assumed non-swiss men who congregate near the station.


if the police were searching the 'average' swiss they would be up in the festivals, clubs and vip areas where the bigger action happens, i'm sure. but that may involve rounding up a whole different group of people, if you know what i mean.
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Old 02.07.2012, 21:43
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Re: Police - Stop and Frisk

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Are you saying that the Swiss don't mind being screwed so long as it's done gently and with a little bit of lubrication?
Nah. It just means that they're not so inclined to see the absolute worst in every last little action, as opposed to Americans.

Here, civil servants actually get respect - and, by and large, they're worthy of it.
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Old 03.07.2012, 08:12
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Re: Police - Stop and Frisk

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Here, civil servants actually get respect
Not so sure about that.

http://www.blick.ch/news/schweiz/pol...id1826183.html

http://www.zuonline.ch/artikel_50458.html
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Old 03.07.2012, 11:38
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Re: Police - Stop and Frisk

So back to the actual thread... Anybody know what the actual rules are?

I am also pretty keen to find out. Always good, IMO, to be prepared and at least know your rights (even if only a few exist).
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Old 03.07.2012, 11:59
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Re: Police - Stop and Frisk

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So back to the actual thread... Anybody know what the actual rules are?

I am also pretty keen to find out. Always good, IMO, to be prepared and at least know your rights (even if only a few exist).
Yes, they are allowed to frisk you.
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Old 03.07.2012, 13:24
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Re: Police - Stop and Frisk

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So back to the actual thread... Anybody know what the actual rules are?

I am also pretty keen to find out. Always good, IMO, to be prepared and at least know your rights (even if only a few exist).
The police can stop and frisk (search bags etc., frisk for weapons). They are not allowed to do a body search in public. Ask them to do this either in the car or on the police station. Orifices can only be searched by medical personel. If you are a woman ask to be searched by a woman.

Following data you will have to give when asked:
Names, DOB, address, hometown, names of parents

You don't have to answer anything else (where you're going, what you doing etc.). If they try to interrogate you can decline to give any information. Tell them: "Ich habe nichts zu sagen" or "Ich verweigere die Aussage" (I don't have anything to say, I refuse to give information).
They will try to bluff sometimes so be careful.

If they make a protocol take your time and double check it. You can refuse to subscribe.

If the handcuffs or any other device hurts tell them to loosen them.
Make sure that if they don't want to do it that this is mentioned in the protocol. If you are hurt after a search go directly to a doctor.

They only can hold you in custody for 24hours (48h on weekends).

Important:
Make your own memory minutes after any incident with the police. This will help you afterwards.

Always try to get contact infos from witnesses.

This is important if the police uses violence or insults you.

Always have your ID on you, it's not compulsory but it simplifies things for both sides.
If you need legal advice or a lawyer when Jailed (over 24h) get in touch with the "Democratic Lawyers of Switzerland"
(Tel Zürich: 044 241 24 55 / Bern: 031 372 48 43 /Basel: 061 333 77 80 )
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Old 03.07.2012, 14:05
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Re: Police - Stop and Frisk

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if the police were searching the 'average' swiss they would be up in the festivals, clubs and vip areas where the bigger action happens, i'm sure. but that may involve rounding up a whole different group of people, if you know what i mean.
That happens quite a lot as well, especially in clubs with known drug consumption. Everyone leaving gets frisked, quite a few get caught with cocaine. But maybe not in Geneva, otherwise they'd have to try and fine embassy staff, Geneva's a mess anyway.
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