Return PolishForums LIVE
  PolishForums Archive :
Archives - 2005-2009 / Life  % width 16

Would you intervene in a mugging on a street in Poland?


markpol 4 | 21  
18 May 2009 /  #1
Hiya, over the last few days I've read many post on this site...really fascinating actually. The general impression I get is that its a safe country, but you really need to keep an eye out on your surroundings, especially at night, and especially in larger cities.

So, my question is, what would you do if you saw a mugging right in front of you? Would you intervene, or just walk right past? In one thread (on this site), there was a youtube clip where a guy just walked right past a mugging.
beckski 12 | 1,617  
18 May 2009 /  #2
what would you do if you saw a mugging right in front of you?

Its depends on what type of situation is involved. I think most people would first have to take into consideration, whether the mugger possessed a deadly weapon or not.
plk123 8 | 4,150  
18 May 2009 /  #3
i wouldn't just walk by.. it just depends on the situation on how involved i'd get.
polishcanuck 7 | 462  
18 May 2009 /  #4
I would intervene if there were no weapons involved.
On 2 occasions people tried to mug me: once in wroclaw and the other time in prague, cz. Both times i refused to give up my wallet and after some pushing around they gave up.
Kapusta 2 | 66  
18 May 2009 /  #5
I wouldn't walk by but I'd call the police, most people carry a portable phone these days. Then, if it was acceptable to intervene I would. You can intervene by just shouting loudly and attracting attention to the situation.
niejestemcapita 2 | 561  
18 May 2009 /  #6
Both times i refused to give up my wallet

that is foolish, what if they had knives?
Wroclaw 44 | 5,387  
18 May 2009 /  #7
Would you intervene in a mugging on a street in Poland?

Depends how big they are. I did give a couple of idiots a thick ear each, a couple of weeks ago.
frd 7 | 1,399  
18 May 2009 /  #8
that is foolish, what if they had knives?

maybe he was drunk? I did the same thing once, I was slightly drunk and two guys approeached me with intention of taking my phone, I started fighting with them and after a while ran away. I should have ran away immediately, luckily they were pretty drunk too that's why I escaped with just few scratches.. If they had any kind of weapon I would be in deep ****.. rules are simple if you can flee, if you are with your girlfriend call cops and don't intervene, times when thugs were not attacking if you had a female companion with you are long gone, you can actually do something if you are sure they don't have any kind of weapon, and they ain't in big number in other case it's just gambling
Harry  
19 May 2009 /  #9
Got involved last night when some Pawel was dragging what appeared to be his girlfriend up the street in an armlock. She was screaming, he was shouting, her mate was crying. My friend and I ventured out of the bar we were sitting in and told him to calm down. Her friend told us to phone the police, so they got a call. My mate got to them a couple of steps before I did and I was 100% sure that the bloke was going to lamp him until he noticed me and decided he didn't fancy two on one.

The reaction of the bar staff was terrible. The waitress came outside and helped (explaining to police exactly how to get to where we were) and then stayed to wait for the police. But none of the four barmen did a thing, apart from one who came out when the police arrived and then watched the police until they left. Last I saw the girl was being put in an ambulance, which was probably the right call, she really was not all there, looked very much like she had either been serious at the drugs and was on a comedown from hell or was still on them.
King Sobieski 2 | 716  
20 May 2009 /  #10
you're lucky harry, you just dont know who is carrying what.

a similar incident to yours happened in morning peak hour in melbourne last year, some guy bashing and dragging his girlfriend to their car. 2 guys tried to help, both were shot, one died and the other eventually survived.

but it is a tough question.
jonni 16 | 2,485  
20 May 2009 /  #11
Be very careful about intervening in a fight in the street. Call the police before you lift a finger.

The Polish 'legal system' is perverse. My friend broke up a fight between some lout and a little guy he was attacking, and is now waiting to go to court charged with serious assault. The attacker, a 27 year old 6'7" farmer with a drink problerm claimed that his victim, a middle aged 5'4" doctor and the 'have-a-go' hero (who is British, and a professional person with a very high income) brutally attacked him. and of course wants compensation money.

The law here doesn't seem to take the circumstances of a 'crime' into account, prosecutors have to pass cases where the 'victim' has had medical photos done, and the 'victim' is pressing charges, on to the courts for a trial, and my friend's lawyers say anything could happen, depending on the caprice of the judge.

So when Poles start bashing each other, either call the police and don't lift a finger, or just leave them to it. You could be opening up a can of worms.
Ksysia 25 | 430  
20 May 2009 /  #12
So when Poles start bashing each other, either call the police and don't lift a finger, or just leave them to it. You could be opening up a can of worms.

It sometimes happens that the courts decide that one has overstepped the rules of obrona konieczna - but there was a case 4 years a ago, of a man shooting a burglar in his own hallway, who later got acquited.

There are very strict rules to obrona konieczna, and as usual, ignorance is not an excuse.
For example - you are free to use any means that you deem necessary in a particular situation. That means: if your life is threatened, you may defend yourself up to the same level. If you see a lifted hand, you may assume that the person intends to strike you - then it's permitted to strike or kick. But if later you cannot prove that - you will have overstepped obrona konieczna.

You are at any time allowed to use continuous force and inflict continuous pain - such as an armlock, but a citizen must not me hit or kicked, in a situation when physical contact is necessary.

In general you can be sued for so much a touching someone, becasue that's invasion of personal untouchability - naruszenie nietykalności cielesnej. But nobody ever does sues for that.

All in all I feel more endangered in the UK - I got mugged in Hastings, I witnessed fights under my window in Rugby. I called the police but they were disinterested.

I developed this method - I take pictures with a loud flashlight. this always scares them off (except one girlie beater who was just too high to notice). I suppose that in Poland it will work just as well. And a proof is what you need to win a case in the court. So take photos. One guy won this way a case against burglars - his camera was good and their faces where shown clearly.

Besides: do you judge goodness of characted based on 'high income'???
jonni 16 | 2,485  
20 May 2009 /  #13
Besides: do you judge goodness of characted based on 'high income'???

No, not at all, but the guy who made the complaint to the police judges it as a chance to get plenty of money in compensation from a civil suit, and paid quickly, not in umpteen installments. That was the reason he made the complaint against the guy who intervened.

The accuseds' professions and salaries are printed on the Akta Oskarzenia, one a basic level doctor, from the former USSR, and the other a 'western businessman' earning more than six times as much. The lout who made the complaint wants money badly and this is a wonderful chance for him to get it.

In this case, the person who intervened didn't lift a finger, but the question is, how can he prove this? There is a witness, but not apparently neutral. And under Polish law, an allegation and a medical report consistent with the allegation are very hard to disprove.

BTW, the camera thing is a good idea. I stopped a burglary in the same way and my friend in UK took photos of some people lurking by the back door of a bank (next to his house) just before opening time. The police got there just in time, but the photos were used to catch the members of the group who got away.

As for differences between UK and Poland for crime - I was burgled 5 times in UK, but no street crime. I have never been burgled here, but had an (attempted) mugging here, in broad daylight and a stolen wallet, a stolen coat and two mobiles stolen. One good thing is that the local media in Warsaw publish 'crime maps', showing a red dot for each incident of street crime.

Out of interest, pickpocketing seems to be on the rise here - people only report it to the police if there are documents lost, but more and more people tell me it's happened to them recently.
Trevek 26 | 1,702  
20 May 2009 /  #14
Be very careful about intervening in a fight in the street. Call the police before you lift a finger.

A friend of mine was attacked whilst standing in the queue of a fast food kiosk. He was attacked by a gang for no apparent reason (later it was suggested that they'd heard his British accent), kicked to the ground and used as a dance floor.

The cops just stood and watched. They didn't even come down to ask if he was OK after the thugs had moved on.
welshguyinpola 23 | 463  
20 May 2009 /  #15
I intervened a couple of months ago when I saw a bloke hitting a woman across the face with the buckle of his belt. Normally if it was 2 guys I'd just let them slug it out but this was unacceptable.

I asked the guy what he was doing and he told me to stay out of it and was shouting at the woman. When he saw I wouldnt leave he stormed off and I took the lady to hospital in my car.

I have noticed in this country though the general attitude is to ignore trouble, put ur head down and walk straight past. In the block where I live, we had a noisy neigbour upstairs. Instead of first asking this person to be quiet people would call straz miejska form the comfort of their armchair. It wasnt really working so I went to see him and he tanked me that someone had finnally asked him nicely, I was the first 1.
jonni 16 | 2,485  
21 May 2009 /  #16
A few year ago, when I'd just arrived here and spoke no Polish, there was a fire in the building opposite our office. I rushed to the Polish staff and asked them to ring the fire brigade. The answer from each of them was the same. "It's not our problem".

Archives - 2005-2009 / Life / Would you intervene in a mugging on a street in Poland?Archived