It could be worse - THe Growler
Cheer up all you people over there who complain the cops are harassing you. Try this one from this week's Far Eastern Economic Review:

LAW OF THE ROAD: Law-enforcement bosses cancelled all leave and deployed a vastly increased police presence on a recent day in Karachi. The result? A spate of crimes were committed, including 56 vehicle thefts--reportedly a record for a single day.

How come crime goes up when there are more officers on the streets? The Dawn newspaper reported that some police get so busy with their traditional hobbies of harassment and extortion that criminals have a field day. "Extortion has occupied police's entire attention and it is significantly telling on their performance," it said. In effect, officers add to the number of crimes committed--and because corruption is a seasonal pastime, it booms in the holiday season. "Police's extortion activity has been allegedly gaining momentum as Eid is approaching," the newspaper said.

Corrupt officers block roads and get money out of motorists--but there is still a big rise in the number of vehicle thefts. That's because police tend to harass the poor and middle class, who typically drive motorcycles. "They never bother to stop luxurious cars to check their papers," the paper said. This lack of impartiality "facilitates car-jackers," it added.
Re: It could be worse - Andy Bairsto
I can vouch for this having worked there.It is also very similar to what happens in Poland ,your chances of getting a German car to Warsaw and back are not good and Mark in Brazil will confirm at the end of the month when the police pay has run out being stopped for speeding or other minor offences increase with the two options of payment.
Re: It could be worse - Mark (Brazil)
oh yes, and as we get towards Christmas it is getting worse and worse with road blocks everywhere.

This is not related to anything except that the police need extra money to buy presents.
Re: It could be worse - ian (cape town)
Gentlemen, I'm getting a sense of deja vu on this one!
I got pulled over THREE times between the city centre and home last night - one was a standard roadworthy/license check, but two were rolling 'routine checks'- In other words, a chance to get a backhander!
A colleague of mine was nabbed last week - not carrying license, 2 bald tyres, and having had more than a few beers... a R500 'gift'allowed him to continue on his way!
British home-based readers please note - you ain't got it that bad!
Re: It could be worse - THe Growler
More 3rd world cop tactics: here we have a breed of policeman known as a "15-30". What this means is he actually reports for work only on the 15th and 30th of each month (which are paydays). The rest of the time he moonlights, probably as an armed security guard for a congressman or other official, better paid and less dangerous.. He pays his superior in the police part of his salary to fill in his timesheet for him to show he "worked". It is estimated up to 15% of the PHilippine National Police may be in on this scam. And, yes, we have new "offences" invented for Christmas. Also road works really begin in earnest, this is so the local government officials can cream off the contractors' payments for their seasonal expenses. Unfortunately if the work isn't done on time, the remains may just be left till next year.

But I definitely approve of the "negotiable" traffic fine system in these countries. Number one it's so more personal than a note through the mail, you get to meet new people, and number two you get the chance to argue, and number three you can see your law enforcement dollars really working at the police coalface level instead of being lost in some bureaucracy to emerge as a camera on a pole!
Re: It could be worse - Tomo
"A colleague of mine was nabbed last week - not carrying license, 2 bald tyres, and having had more than a few beers... a R500 'gift'allowed him to continue on his way!"

I do not know what the rate of exchange is, but it does not sound too bad value!
Re: It could be worse - ian (cape town)
R500? about 70 litres of petrol (to keep it motoring!)
The d&d fine can be as much as R24 000 (and a possible ban), i think, so in financial terms,he scored.

Value my car