A WARNING ranks as one of the mildest forms of police action. A warning can be either given orally or in written form, using technical devices or via public media. A warning must be short and clear and expressed in a clear unambiguous manner.

  1. Warning prior to an offence/threat. Police officers may issue a warning in a preventive sense so as to prevent an offence, threat or detrimental consequences by:

    • issuing a warning regarding circumstances or actions threatening the lives, personal safety or property of people (e.g. children playing too close to the roadside, leaving valuables in visible places in automobiles, unlocked automobiles or basements, etc.) and
    • issuing a warning to people regarding general danger (e.g. natural disasters, fires, flooding, alpine dangers, etc.).

  2. Warning following an offence. Police officers may pursuant to the Minor Offences Act also issue a verbal warning to persons who have committed a minor offence, but only if it is established that this regards a petty minor offence and it is determined that a warning reflects a sufficient measure (the police officer for example may decide to merely warn a motorist who does not have a driving licence on them but has not violated traffic regulations). The following conditions must be (simultaneously) present to constitute a petty minor offence

    • only a fine is prescribed in this case,
    • the minor offence was committed under petty circumstances and
    • no detrimental consequences arose or could arise in connection with it.