Rian, you’re right. When I said ‘back home’ meant New Zealand, and I remeber some international report a few years ago that rated our cops the least corrupt in the world. They’re still not nice guys all the time or anything, but if you know your rights you can bascially stand up for them and the police can’t touch you.
Some touchy guy might have got the impression that I thought Taiwan cops should be the same. I don’t, but I am generally curious about what they are allwoed to do. I was thinking even more about it afterwards and this checking of IDs in the internet cafe seems really pointless. What were they doing?
There’s only two or three things I can think of. They can’t have been searching for someone, because then they would have only gone for people fitting a certain description so maybe
a) They were doing some kind of general check where they typed everyone’s ID number into the computer in the vague hope that they would find someone who was ‘on the run’ or whatever.
They were checking for visa overstayers, as an internet cafe has quite a few foreigners
c) It’s a kind of hangover from Martial Law mentality and random ID checking sort of enforces the idea of police control of the state.
Oh yeah, is it a legal obligation to carry your ID/ARC/Passport around with you evrywhere? When I was on a visitor visa I never carried my passport around with me (it’s too valuable to risk loosing). What if I’d told the cop that I didn’t have ID on me?
I’m really curious, so if anyone knows…