The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Zurich city police must state nationalities in reports

Following a decision by the public prosecutor's office, the Zurich city police must state the nationalities of perpetrators in their reports. This is likely to be the end of a long dispute.

The Office of the Attorney General adapted the corresponding directive to January 1, a spokesperson told Keystone-SDA on Friday. He was confirming a report in the NZZ newspaper.

The dispute over the naming of nationalities originated in the city of Zurich. Following a parliamentary proposal, the city police dispensed with it from 2017. The SVP then launched a cantonal initiative. Voters adopted the counter-proposal in March 2021, and all police forces in the canton were now required to state the nationality of perpetrators and suspects. An appeal against this was then brought before the Federal Supreme Court.

The judges in Lausanne ruled on the naming of nationalities that the instruction was directed at the public prosecutor's offices, but not at the police corps.

The senior public prosecutor's office has now responded to this. Specifically, the relevant section of the instruction has been given two dashes so that it is directed at the public prosecutor's office and the police.

New proposal received

The spokesperson for the public prosecutor's office notes that all police forces state the nationalities of suspects in their reports. In the meantime, however, due to the Federal Supreme Court ruling, a further request has been received from the Zurich city parliament. This has not gone unnoticed by the public prosecutor's office. After legal clarifications and discussions, the passage with the two dashes was added to ensure uniform application.

In November 2023, a majority of the municipal council called on the city council to examine whether the naming of nationality could be dispensed with after all. Following the amendment by the Chief Public Prosecutor's Office, the city council is now asking parliament to write off the postulate, as a spokesperson for the Security Department said on Friday.

©Keystone/SDA

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