Monday, August 04, 2008

Sorry, the Police are Closed

I wonder a lot of things about Switzerland. But the most perplexing thing that’s come up recently is that the police can actually be closed. We found this out because of a situation we found ourselves in over the weekend where we needed to report something stolen. Well forget it, if crime happens after 5pm, the Swiss police are not on duty. So we were out of luck. The only number that someone actually answered was the emergency number—and they just told us to go to their website and fill out a form. After about an hour trying to wade through all the German on the website we found the form and worked on that. We went back on Sunday during the posted hours 1:30-5pm. Still not open. Amazing lack of service when it comes to reporting a crime.

On the other hand, when it comes to petty rules and regulations, the Swiss police couldn’t be more motivated. A friend of ours was actually called by the police one day while she was at work. They made her come to the station to identify something. So of course she’s nervous as she heads for the police station as she hasn’t a clue what it could be about.

She shows up and they take her into another room.

“Is this your trash?” they inquired.

Sure enough, all her trash was laid out on a table. Since there had been an envelope with her name on it, she of course had to say yes.

They then went on to fine her 200 CHF (191 USD) and tell her that she should never again put her trash out the night before pick-up day as that is a crime in Switzerland. One must put it out only at 7am the day of.

Alas. A report of robbery? They don’t have time for that. They’re too busy prowling the streets for more important things. Like trash.

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