Police please me, oh yeah……
A 2014 ‘code de déontologie’ (code of ethics) for the police directs them to show more respect for both public and suspected criminals by using ‘vous’ rather than tu when addressing them.
The move is an attempt to create a closer relationship between the general public and the police.
The formula to follow is to be “Discrétion, probité, discernement, impartiality”.
They will also have to have a ‘numéro d’identification’ on their uniforms – a number to identify them in case of complaint sur les uniformes.
The new code reminds the police of their duty of “probité, obéissance et droit de réserve” and states that on the spot identity checks should not be carried out according ‘aucun caractéristique physique ou aucun signe distinctif pour déterminer les personnes à contrôler sauf s’il dispose d’un signalement précis motivant le contrôle”. In other words, they can no longer stop and search without a specific reason, something that does happen regularly on the borders of France and Spain.
If a search is to be carried out with good reason, it should be done ‘à l’abri du regard du public” – in private wherever possible.