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Closer contacts between environmental police
An experiment in 13 French departments

To optimise the effectiveness of environmental police, the State is creating closer ties between the policing activities of Onema, ONCFS (national agency for hunting and wildlife) and DDEA (departmental public-works and agriculture agencies).This policy, a part of the general revision of public policies, does not affect the institutional standing of each agency.

An experiment on how to establish closer contacts has been launched in 13 departments, Aube, Charente, Gironde, Indre-et-Loire, Isère, Loire-Atlantique, Morbihan, Nièvre, Puy-de-Dôme, Pyrénées-Orientales, Seine-Maritime, Tarn and Vosges.

A seminar was organised on 3 July to discuss the structure and organisation of the experiment. Chaired by the general director for housing and environmental planning in the Ecology ministry and the general directors of ONCFS and Onema, it brought together the heads of the departmental services and the ONCFS and Onema interregional delegates, and the heads of the DDEA and DREAL (regional environmental, planning and housing agency).

The goal is to enhance the effectiveness and consistency of environmental policing activities in order to meet public-policy objectives contained in the Grenelle agreement and European directives and to reinforce the cooperation between environmental policing services that already exists on the departmental level.

The conditions, deadlines and results expected of the departmental work groups were defined. The discussions centred on three main topics, 1) the effectiveness of policing missions, notably the preparation of inspection programmes, 2) harmonising, sharing and pooling resources and equipment, including the geographic organisation where applicable, 3) links between the policing activities and the other missions of the agencies.

The 13 departmental work groups will meet periodically to draw up status reports and prepare proposals for future progress that will be studied by the national steering committee. The first meetings will be mid November to assess the inspection programmes and propose a programme for 2010.