Show me some ID, officer
Expatriates in Saudi Arabia are told to be wary of crooks posing as Saudi cops, and encourages foreigners to stand up for their rights.
May 13, 2009 3:33 by Samir Al-Saadi
“It’s one’s right to request proper police identification,” said Al Juaid, adding that undercover police officers do not randomly approach residents requesting to see their identification. “If they do there must be an investigation into that individual or maybe police are pursuing a unknown criminal in the area. In most cases police officers work in groups and are not made up of one or two individuals.”
The police colonel said that if a person is confronted with someone who claims to be an undercover police officer he should assess the situation carefully. And more importantly, unless confronted with armed bandits or physical threats, one should assert his or her rights. This means demanding proper identification and making note of descriptions. “If one has done nothing wrong one should not be afraid,” he added.
Al Juaid pointed out that if a real undercover officer stops you on the street, he will be accompanied by fellow officers and will most likely be pursuing a fleeing suspect. In that situation there should be signs of pursuit – sirens in the neighborhood and other activity.
“You should be suspicious of people in plain clothes in quiet areas stopping someone for no apparent reason,” he said, pointing out that real Saudi undercover police typically do not dress in Saudi garb because they’re trying not to look like they’re Saudi. Crooks posing as undercover Saudi police, on the other hand, may be dressed like Saudis thinking they are more convincing as undercover officials if they wear thobes and headdresses.
Al Juaid suggests you pay special attention to the interior of the vehicle because undercover cops will have special equipment inside, much like what you would find in a police cruiser. “Make a point of memorizing face description and the license plates if the impostor is driving a vehicle,” said the officer.
People who are confronted with such criminals should report it by calling the 999 emergency number and provide as much information as possible. Al Juaid pointed out that police impersonators are “rare,” especially impostors in real Saudi police uniforms.
“The impostor’s uniform would not be identical to that of uniforms worn by policemen,” he said. “In a few cases that were reported the impostors were wearing plain brown uniforms without badges.”
First seen in Arab News.
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