Partnership between France and the South African Police Service in the field of maritime policing
The South African Police Service established a maritime branch (“sea borderline control”) in the mid-2000s in order to enhance their capacity to struggle efficiently against all kinds of sea-related threats : safety and monitoring of the maritime coastline and its environment, prevention of terrorism, of trafficking and smuggling, of the looting of SA natural resources, struggle against illegal immigration…..
In the framework of the development of this department, the South African Police service requested the assistance of the French authorities (French maritime gendarmerie), intended to accompany the upgrading of the service.
An initial audit was hence conducted in late 2007 by a senior officer from the French Maritime Gendarmerie, intended to assess the requirements of the SBL in terms of training.
As a consequence, an inaugural training was conducted in November 2008 in Cape Town. This first workshop was dedicated to the conduct of safe maritime operations in compliance with the international and domestic legislation
In May 2009, a study tour was organised for the benefit of an SBL officer in the Maritime Gendarmerie.
In October 2009, a land support workshop was conducted for the benefit of 20 SAPS officers.
Since Monday, 1st March 2010, and for 3 weeks, two specialized warrant officers support, for the benefit of 10 SAPS officers, a commanders’ course workshop dealing with the preparation and conduct of operations at sea in their legal, safety-related, organisational and training aspects.
Financed through a French multiannual support project intended to assist the South African Police Service in their struggle against transnational crime and terrorism, this capacity-building process will keep on benefiting from a renewed and continuous support by the French Government (French maritime Gendarmerie).