Admiral Patrick Augier, France’s Deputy Secretary General for the Sea has emphasised the need for versatility in employing border control technology at French ports.
Advanced technology must be used to increase the capabilities of maritime surveillance, Augier noted in an interview.
Maritime security in France is monitored by a complex network of surveillance centres that are inked together by a central system, Augier said.
France’s strategy for maritime security is focussed on protecting key facilities such as nuclear plants, ports, ships, and passengers.
Different security measures may be implemented depending on the size and scale of the port, as a blanket approach for all ports is likely to be ineffective.
At larger ports, such as Calais, it is more important to focus on protecting the port itself, whereas at smaller ports like Cherbourg and Roscoff with lower border control investment, protecting ships and passengers is more efficient.
Among different countries, the inconsistency in laws and control systems means that it is not practical to integrate systems for data sharing on the movement of people, for example those deemed to pose a terrorist threat.
While calling the embassy is usual practice in this situation, but greater communication about who to contact in the event of a security issue would serve to aid efficiency and result in an increased ability to address security breaches.
Augier said: “We need to improve the way in which we exchange information.”
France, through such measures, also aims to prevent illegal trafficking of people and drugs and the pollution of French coastline.
But much of the focus of French maritime surveillance and security is currently on the channel.
IQPC’s defense news unit Defence IQ published the interview with Augier ahead of its Smarter Borders Management Conference 2017.