View Full Version : Cop Following a Suspect Out of Jurisdicition

05-17-2015, 11:17 PM
Setting: Paris, France. 1990.

This will require a bit of explanation so bare with me. It involves two characters: one is a patrol cop and the other a known gang member. The cop receives a report about a kidnapping. The cop is familiar with the victim. She spots the gang member (who's on a motorcycle) who she is also familiar with and knows that he and the victim have history together.

Would it be plausible for the cop to follow him? What if he leads her out of her jurisdiction? I should add he would be speeding as he's actually rushing to save the victim.

What I need to happen is have these two characters meet one on one, preferably alone.

Any information/alternate ideas are welcome. Thank you!

I can add additional information if needed.

King Neptune
05-17-2015, 11:25 PM
It is quite plausible for the cop to follow someone out of their jurisdiction. Look up "hot pursuit".

05-17-2015, 11:47 PM
Patrol cop following a kidnapping suspect who is speeding? Yeah, that would qualify for a pursuit outside the immediate jurisdiction. At least here in the US.

But remember that stuff like that doesn't happen in a vacuum. She's going to be on the radio, calling out the pursuit ("Now westbound on Rue Whatever."). She'll be hearing from her supervisor who's going to want to know what's going on. Other officers in her precinct are going to be aware of what's going on, and try and join in the pursuit.

I don't know the geography of Paris and its suburbs. Quite often, "leaving the jurisdiction" in a big city may be as simple as crossing the street. But departments that are that close are often going to be aware of what's going on in the neighboring city, or at least in the immediately neighboring district/precinct.

05-18-2015, 09:42 PM
If it doesn't have to be a chase, a suspect/person of interest can be under surveillance . . . and even that can be covert or overt. Jurisdictional boundaries aren't as limiting as most folks think in intelligence and/or surveillance operations.

05-22-2015, 11:55 PM
I'd like to extend on the situation. Let's say she follows him and finds his motorcycle outside of a house. Could/would she enter or wait for backup? What if she hears shots fired inside?

05-23-2015, 01:59 AM
In the US, a police officer cannot enter a third party's residence without a warrant, absent exigent circumstances.



Hearing what she thinks are gunshots might be deemed acceptable as exigent circumstances; but that will be subject to extensive scrutiny and analysis in court. If she's not in her primary jurisdiction, she's going to have to immediately justify any overt action she takes to her own agency and the agency that would have the appropriate jurisdiction. It could be very sticky both legally and administratively. There will likely be some level of civil liability exposure as well.

The smart thing for her to do upon hearing gunshots is to call the local authorities, give comprehensive location and circumstantial information, and wait for emergency responders. However, damn few characters in fiction ever do the smart thing--it does tend to keep the story going, doesn't it?

It'll all depend upon what you feel your story needs. Good Luck!