Supposed "Police" come visit you?

I’ve lived in three different apartments since moving here. And in all three cases shortly after I move in, a guy will come to my door dressed casually. And say he is some type of law enforcement. He will then ask for my I.D. . After this point it starts to become more sorted. The guy then usually asks a bunch of questions which only a theif would want to know the answers to. Questions about how many people live with me, what hours do I work, what hours do THEY work…etc. The last guy tried really hard to be friendly to me…saying that he wanted to study English and could he have my phone number…I didn’t give it. And I told him all false hours saying I’d be at work when I’d be at home…etc. Also gave false information about how many people lived there etc…

If this happens again where some supposed “law enforcement guy” shows up at my door…I’ll invite him in and then phone the police…if he tries to leave before they arrive…I’ll pepper spray him and truss him up like a pig until they arrrive.

When you move, do you pop into your local copshop to tell them you’re there? You’re supposed to do that (I never have).
But they do come round and check. I always gave false info, too. I wouldn’t worry about it, its standard. You could always ask him for his ID if he’s in plain clothes, though. Can’t be too careful.
Also, its not just foreigners – the local precinct is supposed to keep a record of everyone living on their patch.

I’ve had the police occasionally check, about once every 5 years. They were in uniform both times. Next time ask for his ID and call the police. I think you had a thief visiting. Can’t be too careful.

If he’s a cop he’s not going to mind you calling the police.

they are supposed to be in uniform when they do the house registration check. they enter the house and check your registration book. since you are a foreigner they shouldn’t even bother with it.

Sorted. I just brought them a bill. They didn’t visit.

I was never checked in all the years I was in Taiwan (except one time when someone specifically sicced the local police on me, but that was different). Definitely ask for ID or contact the local station – it could possibly be fishy like the guys who go around “checking your gas bottles for safety” and end up trying to sell you new valves.


It’s only happened to me once in 18 years, and that was in 1987.

Yep, I’d double-check and make sure they are legit before even letting them in your house. A quick phone call to the nearest police station will clear up any misunderstandings and send the fakers packing.

[quote=“MJB”]It’s only happened to me once in 18 years, and that was in 1987.

Yep, I’d double-check and make sure they are legit before even letting them in your house. A quick phone call to the nearest police station will clear up any misunderstandings and send the fakers packing.[/quote]

Firstly don’t let anybody walk into your apartment… that don’t have that right even if they are the police.

Speaking of walking into people’s apartments…I’ve heard probably a dozen stories of landlords walking into apartments owned by foreigners without knocking…etc. I had one friend…his landlord dropped off a spare set of keys and left them with the security guard. The security guard let himself into the guys apartment at 2am when the guy was sleeping…to give him the keys…hmm. My landlord tried that with me once…she opened my garage door and started to walk up the stairs to my main floor…and I told my dog to attack and opened the door to the garage. She ran screaming out of my condo with my dog chasing her for about half a block before coming back. She always phones first now.

I thought it was against the law to move to a new address and not inform the authorities. Plus when updating your ARC don’t you give your new address?

I have been checked every year since I have lived here by the foreign affairs and by house registration. This also means that I am also on the mailing list of the foreign affairs and they update me on any new information I should be aware of .

Last time I went to America I had to tell them where I was staying before I even entered the country this is also true for England. All you have to do is ask for some ID from the person and that solves the problem.

What person? And can’t you just say “hotels?” That generally gets you through customs.

Yeah, you’re supposed to let them know. When they come check, apparently it’s a routine updating of the police registry of households, which is apparently useful in tracking down criminals. From an American perspective it sounds like Big Brother, and it might be a legacy of the CKS years, I don’t know. But I’ve never heard of any abuse of this by the police.

Both times the police came, about once every five years, they asked whether I had any concerns or problems I’d like to report to them (regarding security or similar problems), so their attitude was actually very positive and helpful. But again, they were uniformed.

Yeah, those “gas safety” guys showed up here too, making it sound like they were somehow government agents, and then ended up giving us a sales pitch on new valves. They even had the gall to install their new valves behind my back while I was translating to my roommate, then ask me to pay for them. They were promptly ‘removed’ from the premises.

According to my wife, it was a yearly thing. But she said they kind of changed it to bi-yearly now…meaning once every 2 years.

I have never updated my address to the police.

Therefore, no visits.

Back when they had that idiotic “survey” they managed to find me and call me.

Sorry Dangermouse,
A bit disjointed there. I meant the guy at the door in Taiwan asking you questions. Normally when you ask them for ID then they come clean about why they are there or they run away. Not the Customs guy in America. Sorry

I was once visited in Taidong–this was sometime in 1989–by a uniformed officer from the neighborhood copshop. I invited him in, offered him tea. He started interrogating me. I mentioned my good friend Chen XX, chief of the Foreign Affairs section for the county. He left.

I think he was hoping I was illegal somehow (teaching English on a visitor visa, as many did in those days–I wasn’t either teaching English nor on a visitor visa) and could profit financially. Obviously it didn’t turn out as planned.


It’s alright :slight_smile:

I thought you were on about the customs chap in the States.

He started interrogating me. I mentioned my good friend Chen XX, chief of the Foreign Affairs section for the county. He left. [/quote]

It’s amazing how dropping a name can get you out of potential trouble in Taiwan. Guanzi is everything.

My wife told me after quite exactly 1 year the police came to the address I have given them to ask questions about me (really living there, really living with my wife etc.). Her mum who is the dragon guide of the address answered only the first and made them apologize later.
Guess it is easier when you let the locals do the administrative stuff for you.

In Germany police will occasionaly check foreigners also, especially from suspicious countries like Eastern Europe. And here were are all suspicious, at least I never got my own credit card and phone bill.

After all, they are right. Everyone knows we are constantly thinking of alcohol, drugs and nailing their gals. Or two of the three at least.
And look at me, Forumosa instead of working while my wife types her finger tips bloody a few desks next to me. Great there is a wall in between.
Poor thing.

We’ve never actually gone to the trouble of informing the nearest cops when we move into a new place, like a few people have mentioned should be done; didn’t know we had to. The thing is, our current community has its own security (as many do), and the nearest police station is about 20+ minutes drive away…

No one’s ever bothered me about it, and I’ve been here for years… so, I guess what I’m wondering is what exactly is the deal with that? Is it only for foreigners or Taiwanese are supposed to do it too?