Contraventions: Police Worried About Signing Fines – Switzerland

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On the fine slipped on your windshield since January appears the identity of the one who verbalized you. Whether he is a municipal or cantonal police officer, or an employee of the Parkings Foundation, the agent has the obligation to write his name and first name on each order fine he imposes, in place of his service number. , as before.

This is a consequence of the federal law on order fines established in 2016, which aimed to unify different types of fines under the same legislation, and which has been in force since January. Voted in Bern (read box), this law, which includes in particular those on road traffic, on asylum or on weapons, makes all concerned officers cough in Geneva.

Agents “not sufficiently protected”

They are five, municipal and cantonal police, to meet us at the cafe to express their concern. “We really don’t understand the value of this change. Before, the serial number was used to identify who had drafted the fine in the event of a problem. If a person contested him and the procedure went to court, he would get the name of the officer and meet with him during the hearing, “summarizes Marc Baudat, president of the Union of Police Force Personnel (UPCP). ).

“Today, we don’t know who we are amending, but the person knows who we are. With our updated identity, we are not sufficiently protected. However, it is the role of our employer to guarantee our security, “said Damien Menetrey, president of the Geneva Municipal Police Union (SPMG).

“Fine fines, even if they relate to minor facts, are never pleasant,” added Marc Baudat. As a result, our names are linked to something necessarily unpleasant. ”Their fear? “Let people put the picture of their fine and post our names on social media, and be harassed after a virtual frenzy.”

His colleague Cedric Wider, president of the Union of Geneva Municipal Police (UPMG), raises, in addition to the relentlessness on the Web, the problem of physical proximity: “A good part of the municipal police officers live in the commune where they work. When a disgruntled citizen knows their identity, they can easily find their address and threaten them or their families. ”

Remove a birth announcement

David Desplands, treasurer of the UPMG, adds: “Some colleagues have been forced to take steps with specialized companies to erase information concerning them on the web, so as not to be able to find them, but also to protect their family. One of our members had to go so far as to contact the maternity hospital in which his son was born in order to have the birth announcement withdrawn, because it made it possible in a few clicks to obtain the identity of his spouse, that of his child and their place of domicile. ”

Are all citizens potential dangers, ready to insult, threaten or harass an agent for a fine? “In this stressed and often throated society, we see people farting a cable for a fine of 40 francs. It can be the last straw that overflows after a difficult day. When you touch the wallet, it’s always tricky, “says Damien Menetrey, president of the SPMG.

Death threats and daily insults

The observation is shared by Jean-Yves Goumaz, director of the Fondation des parkings a Geneve. “Our 84 officers are subjected to daily verbal assaults when they amend poorly parked, and sometimes physical, vehicles: several cases a year end up in court. Death threats following an unjust verbal charge are things that happen. This is why it is believed that this new provision pre-empties our agents to the highest degree. It is unacceptable that an officer or his family can be directly worried. ”

The director claims to have taken steps for a year against this provision of the law. “Last February, we arrested the Federal Roads Office (OFROU), in December we contacted the public prosecutor. We have not received a response. We are waiting for the authorities to react. Our wish is that we return to the registration of the personnel number. ”

Mauro Poggia, Geneva State Councilor in charge of the police, meanwhile “fell from the clouds” when he learned “by the car park foundation, then by the police”, the obligation to write name and surname on the fines order. “No one had apparently seen the problem go by at the time. I can’t quite understand the benefit of this element of the law. I don’t think law enforcement can be done in these conditions. ”What does he plan to do to protect the officers? “I will challenge Karin Keller-Sutter (editor’s note: the Federal Councilor in charge of the Federal Department of Justice and Police) to see what can be done. “He would particularly be in favor of reducing this constraint:” For example, indicating only the first letter of the first name already seems to me to better protect my identity. ”

What he dreads? “Let there be transparency at the expense of service”, that there be drastically fewer fines. However, this is what is likely to happen, according to the police officers met: “We do not have any figures for this year, but colleagues say that they have been putting far fewer fines since January.”

Created: 17.01.2020, 06h58

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