IPA Section UK – ‘Crossing Borders’ to France

23 Jun 2021

‘Spotlight Series shining a light on policing from around the world’

Visiting France last week (12th May 2021) was a breath of fresh air. Many of us have missed travelling this past year. Making connections with IPA members across the globe is what membership is about.

So, in the absence of lofty long-haul flights and short sorties to the continent, I instead tuned in to the IPA’s latest online event IPA Crossing Borders. I wasn’t alone, but joined by more than 35 IPA members from eleven different countries (England, Wales, Scotland, Estonia, Greece, Romania, France, Ireland, Kuwait, USA and Malaysia). I couldn’t imagine a more interesting Zoom call.

This was the first of three planned spotlight events for May, June and July 2021. Each Zoom event focuses on a different country. The format consists of short ‘mini presentations’ delivered in English and often supported with photographs & slides. The theme for our first spotlight event (12th May 2021) was Policing France. We were treated to four fascinating insights from practising French law enforcement officers.

First to speak was Nathalie who gave us an informative overview of the police structure in France. Nathalie described her recent postings from a senior leader’s perspective overseeing prestigious events in public order, and shared photographs including some of the French equestrian division and riot police.

Second to present was François, a French investigator. François amazed us with revelations that the public prosecutor, or for some types of serious crimes an investigating judge, is mandated by law to be appointed at the start of every criminal investigation. A collaborative approach is adopted throughout the lifecycle of a criminal case right up to the point of court & sentencing.

Bruno gave us a gritty insight into immigration and serious organised crime. Having served with international partners in several postings including Bosnia previously, Bruno described some of the recent challenges and problems of policing cross-channel migrants and touched on the delicate political issues.          


The last speaker shone the spotlight on Counter Terrorism and Outlaw Motorcycle gangs within judicial policing. Philippe emphasised the international cooperation and intelligence gathering efforts of national and international agencies working together in partnership. Parallels drawn with the Italian Mafia and the hierarchy structure of the Hells Angels Gang described gave us a riveting finale to our first IPA Crossing Borders event.

Grateful thanks to our fabulous speakers and the IPA Section UK London North Branch secretary Alex Williams for organising & hosting the series. Join us for our second event on Tuesday 15th June 2021 at 6pm when we shine a light on Policing Germany, details to be advertised shortly. 

If you would like to be a part of a future IPA Section UK Crossing Borders series and help put together a short talk / presentation about your area of work, please get in touch with IPA Section UK – vpturner@ipa-uk.org.

Martin Turner, Vice President IPA United Kingdom