What’s the difference between a detergent can of any brand and a police station? Go ahead, think. I’ll leave you a moment longer. You have it ? Nope ? Always not ? Do you give your tongue to the cat? Ok… Bah in a barrel of detergent, there are active agents… AHAHAH. Joking aside, it’s time to tell you what the police are not allowed to do. At least, according to the law.
1. Prohibit being filmed
The law does not prohibit filming the police on public roads. Only recordings that could endanger the secrecy of an investigation are prohibited. In the same way, if they do not concern particular intervention corps (the RAID, the elite unit or the GIGN), these images can be broadcast. Apart from these few exceptions, law enforcement cannot prevent you from filming them.
2. Wearing the uniform outside of work
Likewise, they are not allowed to patrol off duty, even in civilian clothes or with a personal vehicle. On the other hand, and according to the Code of Ethics, a police officer, even off duty, must provide help and assistance to people in difficulty and intervene if an offense is committed before his eyes.
3. Not verbalizing your friends
According l’article R. 434-11 of the Internal Security Code, specific to the duty of impartiality, a police officer cannot grant any advantage for private reasons. He must remain impartial, in all circumstances, and grant “the same attention and the same respect to everyone”.
4. …Or granting favors in exchange for advantages
This time it’s l’article R. 434-9 (Probity) which fixes that a policeman “does not accept any advantage or present directly or indirectly linked to his duties or that he would be offered on the grounds, real or supposed, of a decision taken or in the hope of a decision to be taken. »
5. Checking your identity for no reason
Of course, the police have the right to carry out identity checks. On the other hand, the latter are framed and cannot be motivated by a simple desire! For this, there must “to have an effective risk of harm to the safety of persons or property at the place and at the time when the check is made”, “if there is reason to suspect that you are in one of the following situations: you have committed or are attempting to commit an offence; you are preparing a crime or an offence; you can provide information about a crime or misdemeanor; you are wanted on the orders of a judge; you violate your obligations or prohibitions related to a judicial review, a measure of house arrest with electronic monitoring, a sentence or a measure followed by the judge of the application of sentences “. In the same way, an identity check can follow the order of the public prosecutor.
6. Face check
I know, this point is obvious. Unfortunately, if we need to be reminded, it’s because this kind of thing still happens, in 2022. According to the law (article R. 434-16), when identity checks are authorized, the law enforcement representative cannot rely on “no physical characteristic or any distinctive sign to determine the persons to be checked, unless he has a precise description justifying the check. ».
Eh yes ! The active civil servants of the national police do not go on strike! Prohibited ! They have trade union rights but cannot interrupt their activity. The law of September 28, 1948 indicates that “Any concerted termination of service, any collective act of characterized indiscipline may be sanctioned outside the disciplinary guarantees. »
8. Take out their weapon at all costs
Contrary to what some people think, the weapons of the police are well loaded. According to the law, civil servants can “to use their weapons when absolutely necessary and in a strictly proportionate manner”. Here, here…
10. Handcuffing for no reason
If you are stopped by a police officer, they are only authorized to handcuff you in certain circumstances: to ensure their safety, yours or that of others. Basically, if you are calm and show no signs of aggression or anything else, the officers are not allowed to handcuff you. For example: systematic and prolonged handcuffing of demonstrators is an abusive act.
11. Refuse to take note of your objections
It happens that, during a traffic control for example, one does not agree with the given infringement. In this case, you can refuse to sign the report and not recognize the facts (even if you show bad faith). You can then ask the police (politely and with courtesy, evidam’s) that they annotate your observations: they are obliged to do so. If they refuse, they are the ones breaking the rules.
12. Using Force Outside the Limits Defined by Law
Without going into the enormous controversy of police violence, the police can only use force in certain circumstances. In the context of events, for example: “A crowd can be dispelled by the police after two summonses to disperse have remained without effect [et] sent under the conditions provided for in Article L. 211-9 of the Internal Security Code.” (article 412-3 of the penal code). In summary: before resorting to force, the police must announce “Obedience to the law, scatter”then : “First summons: we will use force” and finally “second summons, we will use force”, before taking action. Force can be used without warning if and only if “violence or assault” is exercised against the police” and that they cannot defend themselves otherwise. Two notions frame the use of force: absolute necessity and proportionality.
13. Disclose information outside the professional circle
It is the famous ” professional secret “, which exists in many other professions. L’article R. 434-8 of the Internal Security Code “the policeman or the gendarme abstains from divulging to anyone who has neither the right nor the need to know, in any form whatsoever, the information of which he becomes aware in the exercise or in respect of his functions. ».