Police powers and duties

Respectful Encounters

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Respectful Encounters

This page has been written for the purposes of legal education. Its purpose is to present in a general and simplified manner the law in force in Quebec concerning police powers and duties, your obligations as citizens and advice when you consider that a police officer is showing a lack of respect or of politeness. Its content should therefore not be construed as legal advice or advice. To find out the specific rules or advice appropriate to your situation, consult a lawyer.


Respect as Police Duty

Article 5 of the Code of ethics of Quebec police officers dictates that a police officer or any other peace officer must behave in such a way as to preserve the trust and consideration required by his function, either by acting in a professional manner, in particular by showing respect and avoiding discriminatory acts with the population it serves.

He must not be disrespectful or polite to any person or use obscene, blasphemous or abusive language. It can therefore be said that the police generally fail in their duty when they act in this way without justification.


Your Obligations

Do you have the right to be disrespectful or rude to the police, or to any other peace officer?

Some municipal by-laws in Quebec prohibit the public from abusing or insulting their peace officers. For example, in that of Quebec City, it is prohibited "to insult or insult a peace officer or a municipal official in the exercise of his functions or to make hurtful, defamatory, blasphemous or rude". You could then receive a ticket in the event of non-compliance with this regulation.

In general, you have the right to share opinions, express your frustration and blame the police. However, your interactions with police officers or other peace officers are likely to go better if you are polite during them.



What to Do When a Police Officer Disrespects You? >>



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