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Old 13.09.2020, 08:59
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Re: Police knocking on the door asking for ID

Thank you, aSwissInTheUS.

As a summary of a different sort: in general, though there are exceptions, Swiss police do not shoot readily. And though there are a few more sad exceptions to this: in general, Swiss police do not resort, routinely, to gratuitous violence.

In Switzerland, it is also extremely rare to be detained without access to a connection to call a lawyer or one trusted person. Being taken down to the police station is not the same thing as being arrested, and most people ever taken to the police station (where more thorough checks on ID, registration, etc. are possible) are released within a few hours, max., unhurt.

Because of the above general mind-set, and of course the laws linked to above by aSwissInTheUS, it is wise to co-operate with the police if they ask you for your ID and permit. The same is likely to be asked of you if you are caught travelling on public transport without at ticket. It's not always a big deal.

Switzerland's general culture is one of going along with procedures, understanding that the person asking for my ID is only doing his/her job. One thing that is likely to trigger a stronger response by the police, and may set things on a course of escalation, is to become un-cooperative or beligerent, showing verbal or physical resistance.

I set this out because these matters are done very differently in some other countries, where any interaction with the police is, per se, frightening or even dangerous, and I can understand if someone has a default fear of the police, even if innocent of crimes. In fact, Switzerland, in this regard, is quite a good place to exhale.
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  #42  
Old 14.09.2020, 03:42
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Re: Police knocking on the door asking for ID

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To be clear:

1) Anyone living in Switzerland without a valid residence permit may be questioned by the competent authorities. If so, only the police have the right to ask to see an identity document. Not having a valid permit or a visa is sufficient grounds for an arrest..
You ever hear of tourists?

Except for this year, my parents have visited me twice a year for several years now. I'm fairly certain they don't go to random tourists and arrest them for not being legal residents when they don't live here. A lot of tourists do in fact stay in furnished apartments. A month-long stay will run a lot cheaper in a furnished studio than in a hotel. My parents generally stay with me, but I have colleagues that put their parents up in furnished apartements in the centre for visits.

This probably isn't a good way to treat tourists. Now that I know the police could do this, I probably won't recommend these flats to anyone I know.
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  #43  
Old 14.09.2020, 07:09
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Re: Police knocking on the door asking for ID

Superfast correctly wrote "living in Switzerland without a permit" and not "being in Switzerland", although the context of the discussion might lead to some confusion. Of course tourists can visit the country without being criminals citizens of Schengen/EU countries can stay in Switzerland for up to 3 months without any permit or visa.

From 2021 it is planned that non-Schengen/EU citizens will need either a tourist visa or an ETIAS approval in order to enter the Schengen area for leisure.
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  #44  
Old 14.09.2020, 08:31
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Re: Police knocking on the door asking for ID

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He took a note of the ID number on his phone and proceed to knock on the door in front of our apartment. Since no one answered he asked for her key to try to open the other door (it would be bad if it would open!) and then gave it back to her..
Is it possible that police is so...dumb? Urban myths would indicate so but still...I find it weird they asked for your wife's key to try it on the next door and didn't respect any procedures. Yes, you're right to be incredulous.

OP, this episode is weird IMHO. Report the incident, worst thing that can happen is to find out they're really that dumb. Glad that nothing else happened, hope you'll move out soon. Take care.
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Old 14.09.2020, 09:30
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Re: Police knocking on the door asking for ID

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I have been checked by the police twice.
I as well, once in Zurich days after moving here (even went to the police station), and a few years ago near my house, both times because I fit the description of someone they were looking for.

Tom
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Old 14.09.2020, 09:48
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Re: Police knocking on the door asking for ID

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I as well, once in Zurich days after moving here (even went to the police station), and a few years ago near my house, both times because I fit the description of someone they were looking for.

Tom
Oh, I'd so love to see a photo of you. I've got you down as a man who wears his grey hair long and feels most comfortable in jeans. I haven't decided if you've got just a stubble or a full on beard.
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Old 14.09.2020, 10:23
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Re: Police knocking on the door asking for ID

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Oh, I'd so love to see a photo of you. I've got you down as a man who wears his grey hair long and feels most comfortable in jeans. I haven't decided if you've got just a stubble or a full on beard.
Based on his handle I would day he has an old Moto Guzzi, which makes you spot on !

I had an old Moto Guzzi.... for some reason I always get 'randomly' stopped and inspected for drugs with the little swab thingies at the airport
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