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Old 16.01.2019, 13:23
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Re: Police powers

Are we talking about racial profiling or clothing profiling?
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Old 16.01.2019, 13:27
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Re: Police powers

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Then why didn’t they let him go once he was searched and proven innocent of their suspicion? They continued to harass and suspect him with zero evidence.
It's not an evidence-based search, though is it? Grounds for suspicion is enough and to be fair, the only point that the police were happy there were no grounds to detain him any longer was when the work colleague vouched for him. Maybe if the colleague hadn't been there it would have taken a bit longer. ID check or a longer conversation, who knows?

Unfortunate episode but I can see it from the police perspective.
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Old 16.01.2019, 13:58
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Re: Police powers

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Are we talking about racial profiling or clothing profiling?
In my husband's case, it could be both. He is Swiss born, but his mother isn't and he doesn't fit the normal Swiss profile.

I very much understand the police's need to question and assert authority when needed. My complaint is specifically related to Basel, where there are certain areas that have obvious criminal activity taking place and there are no police in sight. When its convenient, they seem to busy themselves by harassing teenagers with one odd joint or working professionals walking to the gym from work. Actually, their favorite activity is stopping cyclists for breathalyzer tests at 7:30 AM during the work week.
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  #24  
Old 16.01.2019, 14:22
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Re: Police powers

As the average white guy I am all in favour of profiling, If they don't they would stop me more often only due to political correctness demanding so.
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Old 16.01.2019, 14:24
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Re: Police powers

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In my husband's case, it could be both. He is Swiss born, but his mother isn't and he doesn't fit the normal Swiss profile.

I very much understand the police's need to question and assert authority when needed. My complaint is specifically related to Basel, where there are certain areas that have obvious criminal activity taking place and there are no police in sight. When its convenient, they seem to busy themselves by harassing teenagers with one odd joint or working professionals walking to the gym from work. Actually, their favorite activity is stopping cyclists for breathalyzer tests at 7:30 AM during the work week.
Where I come from alcohol testing was very normal in the early morning, enough people who did not sleep long enough after some pints of beer (or stronger)
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Old 16.01.2019, 14:37
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Re: Police powers

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Tough topic!


There is a fine line between racial profiling, and looking for someone who happens to look like a certain race.


The latter becomes complicated due to the higher chance of xenophobia in Switzerland, and sudden influx of visually different immigrants from another country.


Happens to me fairly often, although 9 times out of 10, as soon as I speak American (Canadian ) English to them, they drop out of aggression stance, smile, and say have a nice day. Before that, it is full intimidation interrogation.


Of course anecdotal, but a personal trend nevertheless.

I get this "special" treatment too. They all assume I am Swiss German.
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Old 16.01.2019, 15:41
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Re: Police powers

What's wrong with profiling?! Statistics and data mining is used on a daily basis for billions of decisions and kf anything provided one knows how to use data it only improves outcomes. If the police have enough data to suspect lonely teens walking in the midst of the night, I'm all for it. The overall result is positive. Btw, all the 3 examples you gave are actually a proof of the efficiency of the police, not of abuse: all 3 were guilty
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Old 16.01.2019, 15:47
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Re: Police powers

fick the police!
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  #29  
Old 16.01.2019, 15:57
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Re: Police powers

I know I have touched in a rough nerve.

Effective policing vs heavy handed policing.

I fear that this is a new phenomenon (generationally) and could end up destroying the high levels of faith and confidence in the constabulary that have been built up over the previous generations. A feature we all enjoy when we boast of living in a country where leaving your house or car unlocked is still done.

Profiling (not necessarily racial, because in this case it is generational) is a policy that can be stupendously effective in thwarting crime, or can become the megalomaniacs most treasured power over the populous.

I very much hope my examples were more the exceptions.
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Old 16.01.2019, 15:59
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Re: Police powers

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What's wrong with profiling?! Statistics and data mining is used on a daily basis for billions of decisions and kf anything provided one knows how to use data it only improves outcomes. If the police have enough data to suspect lonely teens walking in the midst of the night, I'm all for it. The overall result is positive. Btw, all the 3 examples you gave are actually a proof of the efficiency of the police, not of abuse: all 3 were guilty
I am not sure everyone is reading all 3 examples.
The third has nothing to do with profiling and everything to do with police corruption.
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Old 16.01.2019, 16:00
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Re: Police powers

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fick the police!

You haven't got the balls to do that !
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  #32  
Old 16.01.2019, 16:04
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Re: Police powers

We used to jog both sides of the green border near Basel. Great fun, picking cherries from the trees.... ah the good old days. Times have changed. Though teenagers may disagree, one of the positives about Switzerland is that though the police may carry guns, they generally do not intrude negatively in daily life. I'd much rather get arrested here than in New York or London. In Auckland the wrong-doers are just given Australian passports and deported.
To answer your question, the powers of detain and search are much stronger here, you need to carry ID with you -never do jogging and it has never proved to be a problem.
Also from the replies in the thread, some expats seem to share the stereotype Swiss opinion that if you are guilty of something you deserve to be caught. If that is the case, we all should be locked-up.
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Old 16.01.2019, 16:05
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Re: Police powers

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I am not sure everyone is reading all 3 examples.
The third has nothing to do with profiling and everything to do with police corruption.
There's a lot of hearsay to it, though. She could just be ashamed that she was caught bang to rights and it was a "yeah, but the policeman was corrupt" kind of deflection.
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  #34  
Old 16.01.2019, 16:36
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Re: Police powers

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What's wrong with profiling?!
It has a bias the way it is done. The profile does not come from a random sample but from a skewed sample. In the best you just pick on a particular group in the worst you even target the wrong people because you never check right the people.


If every tenth with jogging pants has cannabis it may makes you happy as a police man to frisk them. Easy quota right? But what if over the whole population the drug possession is more like 20% and every third of those bankers in their fancy suits has a line of coke with them?
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Old 16.01.2019, 17:19
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Re: Police powers

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But what if over the whole population the drug possession is more like 20% and every third of those bankers in their fancy suits has a line of coke with them?
After working in the heart of Paradeplatz in Zurich, I can tell you they do! And they have the money to pay the fines too...

In Klein Basel, there is a busy platz, that has the nickname "Cocaineplatz" as you can go there at any time to procure some. It is within 100 meters of the police station, and yet I have never seen one police officer around controlling anything.
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Old 16.01.2019, 17:34
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Re: Police powers

I agree with SwissintheUS on this one. But let's suppose they profile, OK, good. As long as they are aware not everyone who fits the profile is a criminal, behave politely and if possible in a discreet manner and don't harass people once they've done their job....I guess it should be OK.

After all, Singapore, Malaysian or Indonesian etc. airport and border authorities profile too....and it is a life and death matter over there. ;-)
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Old 16.01.2019, 17:36
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Re: Police powers

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We used to jog both sides of the green border near Basel. Great fun, picking cherries from the trees.......
The fruit and nut trees you see growing along the roadside in the countryside are usually owned by someone. So by picking those cherries you were probably stealing from their owner; my son's in-laws lose a percentage of their crop every year to passers by who think that because the trees aren't growing near a house they're 'free'. And a few times recently the trees have been stripped overnight!!

The commune won't let them enclose the orchard and 'private propery' signs are also regularly nicked.
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Old 16.01.2019, 18:08
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Re: Police powers

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. This I do not know and could very well be that the police asked to search the boys room.
You said that the mother gave permission...

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Years ago, my girlfriend and I were out for a walk after dinner in the woods near her house (50m from the border), and were controlled for IDs, bags searched, etc.
Does your wife know about your girlfriend?

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I am not sure everyone is reading all 3 examples.
The third has nothing to do with profiling and everything to do with police corruption.
Example 3 happened to me. They told me I could pay on the spot or by payment slip. Since I didn't have any cash and they didn't take cards, they gave me a pay slip. The fine is not personal. It's an anonymous fine and doesn't go on your driving record, so there is no reason for them to take your personal details. They only wrote down my car plate number.

She should have asked for the payslip OR called the next day to inform what happened.
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Old 16.01.2019, 18:45
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Re: Police powers

[QUOTE=greenmount;3031007]
3. Know your rights and your duties. Be courteous, remain polite and calm. Know what can be handled by a simple fine and what must go to a prosecutor (with loss of license). If you pay a fine on spot request a receipt. Not to avoid bribery/corruption but also that you do not get billed twice and as a remainder what you should not do. BTW: Here the price list with all the simple fines for traffic related things https://www.admin.ch/opc/de/classifi...ndex.html#app1

January 2020 there will be a second list covering stuff outside traffic:
https://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/schweiz...story/14897494
https://www.ejpd.admin.ch/ejpd/de/ho...019-01-16.html
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Last edited by aSwissInTheUS; 16.01.2019 at 19:31.
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Old 16.01.2019, 19:03
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Re: Police powers

No anecdote, this happened in the house in which I live:


A guy lives two floors above me. I only knew him from the staircase, an occasional "hello". I knew that we both speak mother tongue high German, that's all.


One day there suddenly was a major explosion in our house. We thought a gas cylinder burst or similar. My wife rushed into the staircase to see if/where she could help, I grabbed the phone to call police/ambulance/fire. It was abvious from the sound alone that this would be inevitably necessary, or so we thought.


Opening our door there was police in full riot gear, telling us that a raid is going on and for our own safety it would be better to stay inside our flat for a while.


My "staircase-acquaintance" was arrested and led out in handcuffs, the whole house was shocked.


The police left without any further notice to anyone. I understand they can't talk about the case, but it would be nice to know that it's again safe to move.


Next day, the guy who was arrested by roughly 50 policemen in a major operation is back home. So my though was: They must've gotten the wrong guy! So I went to him and asked if he wants to have a beer and tell us what happened. He looked shaky, afraid and confused, but was happy for the company and agreed to visit us.


His version of things: He was working the whole day and came home in the evening. Few minutes after entering his flat, he heard a strange noise on the door, so he checked the spyhole. It was covered by a sticker. So he thought "something is going on, but why me?" - not being guilty of anything, the least he suspected was police, so on his side of the door he called ...the police... to ask for help. He was convinced that "they" would break into his flat shortly, but thought it's some kind of robbers. He didn't know it was the police preparing the raid outside. How unprofessional must they have been so he noticed?


Before his emergency call was answered, the door was opened by force using a battering ram. He thought "shit, I need to keep the robbers out until the police answers my phone call, so I can at least shout out my address and ask for help". With this thought in mind, he threw himself against the door from the inside, which the police registered as "resistance", prompting police to fire a flashbang into his flat through the small gap they managed to open. That's probably the major explosion we heard.


Funnily he was pretty talkative about the whole scenario on the first day after the incident, but after having talked to a lawyer he didn't talk about it anymore.


All I know for sure is that all charges were dropped and he got a pretty huge compensation; apparently in exchange he had to sign a deal not to talk about it anymore? I don't know about the latter, but I assume so, because: Whenever I asked him about it later he just smiled and said "we have to change the topic". He never talked about it again.



More details I learned on the first day, when he still talked about it, was that obviously on that day a bank was robbed in Zurich by some guy wearing a balaclava. But the part of the eyes which was visible was then run through a database, and the database said "it's him". Why was he in this database? We all are! The photo you have to hand in for your Aufenthaltsbewilligung is apparently stored electronically and registered for facial recognition.


No need to tell me you don't believe any of it. If it hadn't happened in my house with myself as a witness, I would also not really believe it.

Last edited by ChrisNeedsToKnow; 16.01.2019 at 19:22. Reason: correcting eye-hurting spelling mistake
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