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How easy is it to get into trouble with the Police in Poland?


masks98 27 | 289  
26 Apr 2008 /  #1
Hey, I've complained about this elsewhere, but since my arrival in Poland three months ago I've had to deal with more than my fair share of stares, finger pointing, and as of today, name calling ("czarny" because I'm black.) So taking a walk is pretty tortuous and it's not like in New York where I could make a funny face or comment if someone stared at me and just deal with their reaction. Being here, I'm afraid of getting into a fight because 1: I don't want to feed the "violent black man" stereotype, and 2: I feel that if I were to get into a fight, about 100 other poles would jumb in to kick my ass, and 3: I don't know what could happen with the police should they get involved.

Are the cops hard-asses here? And now that I've just crossed the 3 month limit, would any encounter with the police mean immediate deportation?
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
26 Apr 2008 /  #2
The cops here are amongst the toughest in the world. I wouldn't mess with them. U don't face immediate deportation but it's better to get all the paperwork done on time. Polish bureaucracy is rather unforgiving
Matyjasz 2 | 1,544  
26 Apr 2008 /  #3
Czarny isn't really a racial slur. It justs means black.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
26 Apr 2008 /  #4
Czarnuchu is bad tho, right? I wouldn't count on help from the police. How many black Polish police are there nationwide? Can't be many. Many top policemen in America are black, they have all the credentials to make top officers. To introduce black policemen here would only increase the potential for crime unfortunately.
Bartolome 2 | 1,085  
26 Apr 2008 /  #5
Czarny isn't really a racial slur. It justs means black.

Well, depends on the context.
Sadly, I read that police when approached by black folks who got racially abused generally aren't doing much to tackle with that problem. They just don't want to get involved and make everything to discourage offended people from prosecuting their offenders. It's a real shame.
Matyjasz 2 | 1,544  
26 Apr 2008 /  #6
Czarnuchu is bad tho, right? I wouldn't count on help from the police. How many black Polish police are there nationwide? Can't be many. Many top policemen in America are black, they have all the credentials to make top officers.

Funny you mentioned black policemen. Some time ago i have read an article about foreigners in poland and there was an interview with one black guy who happened to be a policeman. :)

Yes, Czarnuch is a racial slur.

Why wouldn't you think about getting help from the police? It's their job and they are getting paid for it.

To introduce black policemen here would only increase the potential for crime unfortunately.

What would be the reason for it?
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
26 Apr 2008 /  #7
Matyjasz, for such a smart guy, that was a stupid comment. In theory, the police are there to help u but that'd reflect in the faith in the police force. Look at studies that disprove this. Many people get paid for sth and make a hash of it.

Black policemen here, IMHO, would be targets for racial hatred. They wouldn't command the respect of many communities and would likely get set upon whilst doing their beat/patrol.
Matyjasz 2 | 1,544  
26 Apr 2008 /  #8
Matyjasz, for such a smart guy, that was a stupid comment. In theory, the police are there to help u but that'd reflect in the faith in the police force. Look at studies that disprove this. Many people get paid for sth and make a hash of it.

Should I feel complemented or offended? :)

If demanding from the police to do their job is just a wishful thinking than what is the purpose to have them in the first place? Do you really think that low about polish police?

Well, depends on the context.

True. One could offend someone calling him a princess, still it doesn’t mean that the word princess is offensive.

Sadly, I read that police when approached by black folks who got racially abused generally aren't doing much to tackle with that problem. They just don't want to get involved and make everything to discourage offended people from prosecuting their offenders. It's a real shame.

If that’s true than it is really a very sad state of affairs.

Black policemen here, IMHO, would be targets for racial hatred. They wouldn't command the respect of many communities and would likely get set upon whilst doing their beat/patrol.

Those who abide the law wouldn't mind, and those who don't, don’t respect "psy" anyway. But I do see your point.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
26 Apr 2008 /  #9
Well, u made one stupid comment but u r a smarty guy so u should feel complimented. There was a neighbourhood dispute and I had to liaise with the police and they didn't even want to know. They do a great job at footie grounds tho!!
Matyjasz 2 | 1,544  
26 Apr 2008 /  #10
Well than, thats quite a original way to complimant a person, but thank you. It takes a great man to aprieciate another great man. ;)

I also understand now your sceptic aproach to polish police. Still, we were talking about, and I quote:

Being here, I'm afraid of getting into a fight because 1: I don't want to feed the "violent black man" stereotype, and 2: I feel that if I were to get into a fight, about 100 other poles would jumb in to kick my ass, and 3: I don't know what could happen with the police should they get involved.

If one couldn't count on the police when attacked by a gang of thugs than how could we call Poland "państwo prawa"? ("the land of law"??)
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
26 Apr 2008 /  #11
I'm not entirely sceptical either. I think that they are very disciplined and are often on patrol. There are also different levels of police which I like. The straz mieska streel patrols are a very good idea.

It's just a hunch Matyjasz but I'd hazard a guess that the police may turn a blind eye unless he was getting badly beaten.
Bartolome 2 | 1,085  
26 Apr 2008 /  #12
If that’s true than it is really a very sad state of affairs.

Yeah, and how much time will it take to change these attitudes ? We're supposed to be a civilised country after all...
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
26 Apr 2008 /  #13
Poland is a very civilised country. It's just that certain events bring out the fools
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,161  
26 Apr 2008 /  #14
I wouldn't count on help from the police. How many black Polish police are there nationwide?

Sheep, what the hell... Policeman doesn't have to black to help... and how many ? One.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
26 Apr 2008 /  #15
I know that, good officers are good officers, irrespective of colour. I dunno how many black policemen there are, maybe they are like black sheep
wildrover 98 | 4,451  
11 Jun 2008 /  #16
One of the reasons i love Poland is because its 50 years behind the Uk in some ways , they still have a way of life , a special quality of life that we lost in the Uk along time ago....sadly it also means that Poland is about 50 years behind in Racial and sexual equality....I have many great Polish friends , who are lovely people , but to hear them talk about gay and black people makes me certain that such minorities would have a hard time trying to make it in Poland......As for the Police i have always found them to be no problem , but not exactly efficient...they failed to catch the people who stole from my farm , despite me giving the name and address of the people who did it......
Dzhaklin 3 | 166  
11 Jun 2008 /  #17
.As for the Police i have always found them to be no problem , but not exactly efficient

This is an interesting way to say things. I think even if you are polish the police can be very selective about what they want to do or how they will treat you and if you are a foreigner it is very likely that they will not treat you kindly but again this depends largely on what part of Poland you are in and where you are from
OP masks98 27 | 289  
11 Jun 2008 /  #18
I haven't interacted with Police yet, but the Bus controllers have been super nice to me on account of not speaking english. The three times I had to get on with out paying they controlled and each time they just blurted something out (it probably wasn't very nice) and walked away.
wildrover 98 | 4,451  
11 Jun 2008 /  #19
I have to be carefull here as i have quite a few friends in the Polish police....As a professional driver , and Motorcyclist i do meet Police from time to time , they have always been very polite and proper , and even when they could have given me a mandat for not having my driving documents on me for example , they didn,t...never had a problem with them , mind you , i have never regarded Police as the enemy , and always treat them with respect and politeness......Most of my Polish friends regard the Police with suspicion , and do not trust them to do a proper job....I don,t know if this is based on facts , or the old hatred of the Police as tools of the communist state that was learned from their parents......
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
11 Jun 2008 /  #20
Try spraying CHWDP on the walls in front of them and don't expect ur friends to help u out. Don't mess with the Polish police, they are tough nuts
plk123 8 | 4,148  
11 Jun 2008 /  #21
cops in PL are crooked. i wouldn't count on them and if anything.. keep your distance.
Dzhaklin 3 | 166  
11 Jun 2008 /  #22
I've heard many times tourist have tried to bribe them and they take the money and still arrest them for whatever they were charged with
dnz 17 | 710  
19 Jun 2008 /  #23
The police here are awesome! I've been stopped for speeding and once for not having my headlights on and as soon as they realise that i'm english they go away, I think that people from ethnic minorities seem to be obsessed with people looking at them because of the colour of their skin when really no one here cares, I have a lot of friends here from kenya, somalia and the US and they have never had any problems, If people look it probably down to the fact poland isn't used to having immigrants like the UK so people will look as its something different and nothing malicious.
benszymanski 8 | 465  
19 Jun 2008 /  #24
I have had a few dealings with the police in Poland:

Once because I was the witness to a crime - in this case I am sure the investigating officer was bribed by the offender because at the start he told me he was sure he would get a conviction, and then suddenly he was writing letters to the procurator to get the case dropped. Of course I have no proof but even another office said he thought something smelled somewhere.

Once because I was stopped for speeding and once because I was stopped by customs who were total jobsworths and called the police because my documents weren't in order. In both cases the officers were great, I was friendly with them and so they were friendly with me and just let me off.

Once because my number plates were stolen in Gdansk. Nothing came of this (no surprise). But a bizarre site to see police officers in uniform at the front reception desk smoking (doesn't Polish law forbid smoking in offices except designated rooms?).

Finally once for my karta pobytu interview. Local officer who was very friendly and helpfu. Tried to get me to join their local football team!

I would say that some officers are great, and some not so great just like police the world over I am sure...
sobieski 107 | 2,128  
22 Jun 2008 /  #25
I think police here in Warsaw are OK. I was once stopped in Winter coming back from work - a sunny day so I forget to switch on my lights. The policeman in charge just asked "Can you do that in Belgium as well ?" and then let me go.

Another time I went to the local police place because I lost my Karta Pobytu. They made the necessary paperwork without any fuss.

The best example was a few years ago. I was on the tram on Marszałkowska. Some skins entered and started to terrorize some teenage girls - grasping their breasts and so on. Seems somebody (not me) phoned the police with his mobile.3 police cars stopped the tram car. Entered some robocops on the tram. One skin made the mistake of pushing a police officer. They smashed his face against the doors of the tram, put him on the floor and put their heavy boots on his face and later more or less threw him from the tram in the police van.

In some countries this would be reviewed as incorrect police behavior guess :) I think it was plainly wonderful.
wildrover 98 | 4,451  
22 Jun 2008 /  #26
incorrect police behavior

Sounds like very correct behavour to me....

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