If you are the witness or victim of an accident, here are the numbers for all emergency services in France:
• SAMU (medical emergency): 15
• Police: 17
• Fire Brigade: 18
• European all-emergency number for mobile phones: 112.
In France, these numbers are free of charge, and the various services are interconnected to provide a better response to emergencies. Furthermore, if you witness a shipwreck from land, you can ring 1616, specialised in maritime rescue. A special number, 115, is used to indicate that a homeless person appears to be in great difficulty.
File a declaration with the police, who will issue a certificate. Then you must contact your consulate.
Inquire at a police station for the telephone number of the local lost-and-found office (in Paris, 33 (0) 1 55 76 20 00).
The police will file your complaint (or will direct you the pound if your illegally parked car has been removed by the police).
Contact your card-issuer as soon as possible, and then file a declaration with the police. Numbers for reporting loss of major credit cards:
• Eurocard-Mastercard: 33 (0) 1 45 67 84 84
• Visa: 0892 705 705
• Diner's Club: 0810 314 159
• American Express: 33 (0) 1 47 77 72 00.
Contact the Society for the Protection of Animals (SPA). Tel: 33 (0)1 43 80 40 66.
If you have unresolved disputes with a hotel, restaurant or merchant then contact the consumer and fraud agency of the department in which the incident occurred (Direction Départementale de la Concurrence, de la Consommation et de la Répression des Fraudes). You can also contact your own national authorities through your country’s consulate or embassy in France.
You may file a complaint at the police station (in urban areas) or gendarmerie (in rural areas) closest to the site of the incident. Or you may contact the prosecutor (procureur) of the county court (Tribunal de Grande Instance) either where the incident occurred or where your attacker lives, if known.
If you break the law, you are liable to prosecution just like any French citizen, whether the act concerns a highway violation, travelling on public transport without a ticket, drunkenness in public, or participation in a brawl. Since 15 April 2010 a Europe-wide number (116 006) has been operational to inform foreign visitors of their rights in case of arrest. This number will also direct the caller to organisations that might help to resolve the situation, such as insurers, legal aid, and so on.