Ministry of Security and Justice

The following management tasks related to use of the North Sea are the responsibility of the Ministry of Security and Justice.

Marine Police

Marine Police Department of the National Police Services Agency

The marine police force monitors both commercial and recreational shipping. As well as shipping on the North Sea outside the coastline (‘territorial waters’). For example, the police inspect boats and jet-skis in recreation areas in addition to the cargoes of ships. Lastly, the employees of the marine police help with search and rescue operations for people missing at sea.

The marine police:

  • Provide first asylum in the case of incidents with and on commercial and recreational shipping and supervise proper compliance with the regulations.
  • Monitor safety on the main waterway network. The police do this by monitoring speed, alcohol use, the law governing sailing times and compliance with health and safety legislation.
  • Deal with serious shipping accidents and investigate the facts.
  • Inspect ships. Amongst other things, the cargo, qualifications and safety.
  • Monitor the transport of hazardous substances and waste.
  • Investigate cases such as cargo theft, document fraud and the laundering of illicit money.
  • The marine police also investigate the theft of vessels.
  • Supervise compliance with the environmental regulations. They check for pollution at sea and are responsible for the condition of designated nature reserves.
  • Intervene in the case of nuisance in recreation areas during dredging activities or if there are accidents at sea.

With whom do the marine police work together?

Depending on demand or on the circumstances, the marine police work together with investigating authorities, the Seaport Police, the Royal Marechaussee, the Transport and Water Management Inspectorate, Rijkswaterstaat and local port services. In a European context, the marine police work together with international police organisations in Aquapol and The European Association of Airport and Seaport Police (EAASP).

Public Prosecution Department in cooperation with the Coastguard

A public prosecutor from the Public Prosecutor's Office has been appointed for the North Sea portfolio. The North Sea Prosecutor has a seat in the Permanent Contact Group Enforcement North Sea (PKHN) and is in charge of North Sea-related criminal investigations. Investigations in the field of general criminal law (drugs, exploitation offences, etc. committed at sea or on board Dutch ships) are conducted by officers from the national and local Public Prosecutor's Offices. Regular cases related to the environment, traffic/safety and fishery, but also environmental crises/disasters on the North Sea, are dealt with by the Public Prosecutor's Office.
The Public Prosecutor's Office’s area of operation covers different types of cases. For example, there is a flow of “standard cases” dealing with offences related to the violation of traffic regulations and security zones, minor dumping offences and administrative omissions in the fishing sector.
In addition, criminal enforcement comes into play for serious offences and abuses. This might include serious accidents at work, serious abuse in the fishing industry and major pollution incidents.

Immigration policy/border control

For enforcement duties, DG Vreemdelingenzaken (Directorate-General for Immigration Affairs) is involved on the basis of one of the Coastguard’s priorities, namely border control and combating illegal migration. These tasks are performed by the Royal Marechaussee (KMar) under the authority of the State Secretary of the Ministry of Security and Justice.