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Fiji Time: 6:53 PM on Saturday 19 April

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'Politeness police' tackle rudeness in France

News.Com.Au
Thursday, December 06, 2012

HUNDREDS of "politeness police" have been recruited to beat bad manners on the French rail network.

'The "conflict specialists" will talk to offenders about having more respect for their fellow passengers and are also authorised to fine people caught smoking, damaging property or putting their feet on seats.

SNCF, the state-owned rail company, has received increasing numbers of complaints about rude or unruly travellers, including those speaking loudly on mobile phones, playing music, swearing and even couples being "too affectionate".

An SNCF spokesman said: "We aim to tackle offensive or irritating everyday behaviour of people who make life a misery for other passengers."

The politeness offensive follows a campaign by the French public transport authority earlier this year, which aimed to teach passengers manners through posters.

The campaign included large posters which depicted Parisians as animals next to shocked human onlookers.

Among the beasts was a sloth who hogs a bus seat while onlookers glare at him, a hen who yells into a mobile phone on a packed bus and a donkey who spits chewing gum onto a train platform.