Tuesday, 26 August 2008

European police stations

Almost unrecognised by the blogosphere and general media, the French EU-Council presidency has proposed the setting up of "European policy stations".

Situated in major tourist areas, these European police stations shall bring the European Union closer to its citizens, providing an added value in situations where people are in need of someone who they can address.

The Daily Mail reports:
France had suggested 'European police stations' in major tourist zones in the bloc at which officers from other EU countries would be available to assist citizens, she [French interior minister Michele Alliot-Marie] said.

'These would not be monstrous mega-police stations, but rather offices where people from a foreign country can come and be assisted when they have something nasty happen to them - if they've been attacked or had their pockets picked - and where they will be well looked after,' she said.

The idea would be similar to what had already been done in policing of big sports events, she said.
According to a Council document published today, the first test stations will be located (or have been located) in Paris, at the Eurodisney park, in Versailles and during major events in Lourdes (pope's visit) and at the 24 hours of Le Mans (a car race).

I think that this is actually a good idea. The free movement of people also means the free movement of problems. Especially for those Europeans who are not fluent in a local language or are hesitant contacting a national police officer in another EU country in case of problems, the possibility to talk to "European" police forces, maybe even to someone able to speak one's own language, could be of great help.