Saying that foreign thieves should give as much respect to Luxembourg as Luxembourg gives to them, anyone wishing to forcibly steal in public must now demonstrate proficiency in the three official languages.
Before entering into the increasingly popular field of violent street theft, aspiring muggers will have to pass a language exam administered by the INL, says Rosa Beck, director of the Office of Crime and Integration.
“The test will consist of a verbal communication section in Luxembourgish, French, and German that covers words and structures that are useful in an everyday mugging situation,” Beck said.
“Words like give, mobile phone, jewellery, wallet, now, and shut up, as well as grammar elements such as imperatives and conditionals.”
The need for such a language test has been increasingly apparent in recent weeks with the uptick in muggings, particularly near the capital, say officials.
“There was a Luxembourgish grandmother in the north of the country who was approached by two men who asked in French for directions,” Beck said. “She didn’t understand a word they said, and when they held up a knife and demanded her watch and purse, she was totally confused.”
“The poor woman thought they were travelling knife sharpeners showing off their skills.”
A similar incident occurred in the capital, where a group of muggers approached a middle-aged man, violently stole his wallet, and in English threatened him with a beating if he didn’t disclose his PIN. It took a whole 10 minutes for the victim to understand.
“If this gang of muggers had simply addressed the gentleman in Luxembourgish, or even German or French, the mugging would have gone much more smoothly,” Beck said.