At the beginning of the year, we wrote about a group of criminals roaming around Lyon in France, who, pretending to be policemen, tried to steal and rob trucks in the parking lots. The Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Lyon issued a warning to drivers. As a result of this story, the French Gendarmerie has prepared information for foreign drivers.

In the last weeks of December, a bunch of criminals disguised as police officers, driving an unmarked police car with a signal and warning lamp, operated at night in the parking lots near Lyon. The French services investigated the case and warned that criminals could break into parked vehicles, wake up sleeping drivers and pretend to be policemen in order to demand the opening of a semi-trailer or to follow their car. All this, of course, to get to the cargo or to distract the driver in order to cut the tarpaulin and steal the cargo.

After the incident, the French gendarmerie prepared a poster, which shows whether we are dealing with a real policeman or a dressed-up criminal. It is worthwhile to study the poster – even if it is in Polish –  so that there are no doubts in case of contact with French policemen.

Information for foreigners

This is how you can distinguish representatives of French law enforcement services from criminals impersonating them:

  • French officers never wear balaclavas
  • Most often, representatives of the French police services wear uniforms during roadside checks
  • However, during special tasks, police officers or gendarmes may be dressed in civilian clothes
  • During roadside checks of trucks, the security services shall not require the goods in the semi-trailer to be unsealed
  • They may use unmarked vehicles, but they must be equipped with a blue warning light
  • They should be able to produce appropriate identity cards
  • When in civilian clothes, they are required to wear special bands

It is certainly worth remembering that French services do not use balaclavas, and police officers cannot demand that the goods be unsealed in a semi-trailer.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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