Forensic and Criminal Intelligence Agency of the French Gendarmerie – MININT-IRCGN
The MININT-IRCGN is an institute of forensic science. In this place, many department with different specialities work together to search for scientific truth in the criminal process. The military status of the scientific gendarmes enables them to work in all places and at all times, giving this unit an operational status recognized throughout the world.
The MININT-IRCGN reports to the headquarters of the French Gendarmerie for the following posts:
- to carry out, at the request of judicial police officers (OPJ) and magistrates, technical or scientific examinations, as well as at the exclusive request of magistrates. These various activities, carried out in accordance with the rules of criminal procedure, give rise to the drawing up of reports;
- to provide, when necessary (serious crimes or disasters), to the directors of investigations, the necessary support for the operation of technical and scientific sampling or assistance in the identification of victims;
- to directly assist in the training of criminal identification technicians and the training of investigators (at all levels);
- to follow, in all fields of forensic science, the research required by the development of techniques of criminal investigation.
In recent years, and increasingly frequently, the Institute, recognized as a centre of excellence, has assisted its experts in numerous administrations and is involved in various interministerial technical or normative work, notably on cybercrime, video surveillance, document fraud, improvised explosive devices, protection of fortifications, intervention in contaminated environments, marking products in the context of the protection of property, etc.
Service National de la Police Scientifique – MININT-SNPS
The French Forensic Service of the National Police (Service national de police scientifique) – MININT-SNPS – is part of the French Ministry of Interior. It is a state establishment created by the clause 58 of the law 2001 – 1062 (15 November 2001) on French interior security, and organised by the decree 2004 – 1211 (9 November 2004). In 2016, SNPS employed 815 people (75% of whom are scientists). MININT-SNPS is specialized in forensic technical and scientific investigations. The establishment consists of a central coordination unit (Lyon) and five forensic laboratories covering the national territory, located in Lille, Paris, Lyon, Marseille and Toulouse. The main activities of the laboratories are on-request forensic science analyses for police investigations with associated reporting in court cases (118,000 cases in 2016), the development and/or improvement of methods in the area of ballistics, chemistry, toxicology and biology in collaboration with universities and research institutes (for example, with the French National Centre for Scientific Research, CNRS) and lastly, the training of forensic scientists and police officers.
The laboratories are structured into eight technical departments which offer important skills to legal applicants: ballistics, biology (DNA), documents, illicit drugs, arsons/explosions, toxicology, physics and trace analysis (gunshot residues, glass, paints, etc.). MININT-SNPS also has a role of adviser for police services which allows it to be a bridge between manufacturers and end-users.
SNPS is an active member of the European Network of Forensic Science Institutes (ENFSI).