A French police presence on the streets of Split.
Tourists from France are quite surprised when they see their police officers walking the streets of Split. There are two policemen who will spend a month in Split as part of the project “International Cooperation of Uniformed Police”, according to a report in Slobodna Dalmacija on July 30, 2015.
“Yesterday, we met a Frenchwoman who got lost and could not find a way to her room. She was so surprised and she could not believe that we are the French police. We helped her find her way and we chatted a bit”, said Nenad Jovanović, one of two French policemen working in Split. Jovanović, a native of Paris, arrived in Split together with his colleague Slobodan Birak from Avignon. Both of them are fluent in Croatian, English, and of course French.
The two of them, together with their Croatian counterparts, will patrol the streets until August 15. Their goal is not only to prevent crimes, but also to provide some basic information and advice to their fellow Frenchmen.
For example, a young family went for a walk and asked the police officers how they could find the office of the Tourist Board where they were sent by their private landlord. “They were told that they must register with the Tourist Board, but we explained that the registration does not work that way, and that the landlord is the one who has to register them. Of course, they had no idea about that”, explained Slobodan, adding that they exchanged their phone numbers just in case.
Just a few meters further, Fabienn and Jacky from Orleans stopped the police officers. They were seeking information about the islands and wanted to know which islands are the most beautiful.
“I am the chief of station in a suburb of Paris, and my colleague works in Provence. We work for 55 hours a week on average. Here we are on patrol from morning until about 15.00 in the afternoon, but we are available later as well, which is great because we gather a lot of experience helping in unusual situations”, said Nenad, adding that he would like for Croatian policemen to visit France as well.
Last year, Split-Dalmatia County welcomed 92.000 French tourists, while in the first six months of this year there were more than 20.000 of them.