The Marine and Airport Police Division deals with safety and security for marine infrastructures, particularly in Port Hercule and the Port of Fontvieille, and airports.
Organisation and operation
Staff are mainly multi-skilled, hold many different qualifications as divers (18) technicians in underwater criminal investigations (11), trained and retrained at the St Mandrier Naval School and the National Nautical Instruction Centre of the Gendarmerie of Antibes, coxswains and second embarkation officers (12). 19 police officers hold the National Security and Aquatic Rescue Certificate (BNSSA), two of whom as lifeguards. These professional skills are directly related to the assignments that the Division undertakes. It is operational 24 hours a day, all year long.
On land, this Section:
- Carries out general surveillance of ports and docks: safety - security - sanitation - keeping the peace - traffic - parking - information - public order
- Ensures that safety is maintained on cruise ships and in port installations in accordance with the ISPS Code (in force since 1 July 2004), with 230 cruise ships landing each year, in liaison with the port authority and shipping companies, with the assistance of a private security firm
- Deals with Schengen cross-border controls for all vessels (pleasure craft, charter vessels and cruise ships) calling or disembarking – 120,000 people each year
- Participates in the OR.MO.SE. (Monegasque Emergency Unit) Plan, etc.
At sea, the Section:
- Polices fisheries and shipping
- Carries out surveillance of territorial waters (12 nautical miles) and waters under Monegasque sovereignty (36 nautical miles)
- Carries out search and rescue at sea, including in the French territorial waters over which Monaco has had jurisdiction since 1999 (in liaison with CROSSMED in Toulon)
- Deals with environmental protection of the sea
- Is responsible for combating accidental or voluntary pollution of the sea (the RAMOGEPOL and POLMAR Plans)
- Ensures the security and safety of the Princely Family and VIPs, at sea and on the coast
- Participates in ensuring security during nautical events (public order at sea - safety)
The Maritime Intelligence and Control Unit is responsible for the safety of cruise ships and port installations in line with the ISPS code (in force since 1 July 2004). Approximately 230 cruise ships make stopovers per year, in liaison with the Société d’Exploitation des Ports (SEPM) (Ports Operating Company), maritime companies and in conjunction with a private security company. It monitors all the ships (pleasure craft, charter ships and cruise ships) that stop over (around 370,000 persons per year).
The role of the Marine and Airport Police Division is as follows:
- General security at the heliport and surrounding area with the Civil Aviation Authority
- Monitoring passengers when an aircraft departs or arrives
- Close cooperation with the private company in charge of screening and monitoring people and baggage
- Sea rescue with requisitioned aircraft
The following duties are carried out (from 1 May to 30 September) with the help of seasonal employees and a State registered nurse recruited by the Human Resources and Training Department:
- Supervision of swimming, the beaches and the marine reserve
- First aid
The Marine and Airport Division owes its existence to the Ordonnance Souveraine n° 2318 du 16 août 1960, which entrusts the Commissioner of Police with maritime police authority by transferring powers which had, until then, been held by the Director of Ports and the Maritime Authority. It has been located on Quai Antoine I since its inception.
For nearly a century its responsibilities were widely extended and became more complex. It has gone from 9 officials in 1960 to around 40 today, all volunteers from the Police Department. There have been seven heads of division.