Friday, November 20, 2009

Riga's Finest Embrace Tourist Beat

Latvia's first Tourism Police Squad members have started patrolling streets of Riga. Officials say the TPs are dressed like other law enforcement officers but have better foreign language skills. Training videos released to the press show the TPs have worked hard to master perfectly polite phrases like "Freeze, or I'll splatter your brains all over the attractive Jugendstil building behind you" and "Just leave five lats on the dashboard and walk away." Officers have also been trained to whistle "Theme from Shaft" while they walk their beats.
Municipality police statistics show that while every day a foreigner gets into trouble in Riga - cheated in taxis and nightclubs - it is always the fault of the tourist himself. Brawls in Riga involving tourists, in particular minorities, are also the fault of the tourists themselves. Studies show one tourist in two enters Riga with clear plans to urinate on the Freedom Monument or in other well-known public spaces.

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