3 Keys to Successful Cross-border Police Cooperation in Tackling Environmental Crime

3 Keys to Successful Cross-border Police Cooperation in Tackling Environmental Crime

This resource is part of a series that INECE is conducting which profiles selected articles from the Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Environmental Compliance and Enforcement. 

Cross-border Police Cooperation in Tackling Environmental Crime, by Dutch criminology professor Toine Spapens, explores the benefits of and challenges to mounting coordinated and systematic international efforts in the field of environmental crime.

Different types of cross-border cooperation are essential to respond to transboundary environmental crimes, including pre-operational activities like training, information sharing, and general coordination, and operational activities like sharing intelligence on transboundary environmental crimes and gathering evidence on suspected crimes.

The paper asserts that difficulties in cooperation stem from the lack of a globally applicable legal framework for mutual assistance in criminal matters. Another important and often underestimated reason is practical problems regarding the exchange of information about detected cross-border environmental crimes and setting up a coordinated criminal investigation in two or more countries in response, as well as with regard to the execution of requests for mutual legal assistance.

The paper argues that practical considerations and broader governance issues are just as important for effective cooperation in cases of transnational environmental crime.

The author analyzes three aspects of operational transnational police cooperation in criminal investigation:

(1) Detection of crossborder environmental crime
Explores how police acquire information about cross-border serious and organized crime and looks at how and when such    information can be shared with the competent authorities of a foreign country.

(2) Setting up a coordinated investigation
Explores simple inter-country requests for cooperation (usually informational and do not require extra personnel or resources) and complex requests (require thorough investigation, significant personnel and/or resources)

(3) Gathering evidence
Explores the difficulties related to the practical work of obtain the necessary evidence through cross-border cooperation.


  1. Would it be possible to get a copy of of professor Toine Spapens’s paper?



  2. Hi Allison,

    Yes, the link to the paper is http://inece.org/conference/9/proceedings/31_Spapens.pdf

    Thank you!

    INECE Secretariat

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