Tasks of the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee

The Royal Netherlands Marechaussee (RNLM) stands guard over the security of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, including the Netherlands’ territories in the Caribbean. It is deployed globally at locations of strategic importance, from royal palaces to the EU external borders, and from airports in the Netherlands and the Caribbean to theatres of war and crisis areas all over the world.

The RNLM has 3 core tasks:

  1. border control tasks;
  2. security and surveillance;
  3. international and military police tasks.

1. Border police

RNLM personnel check persons crossing the border and combats cross-border crime at all locations where it is in the interests of the Netherlands. In the Netherlands, that means guarding the European external border at airports, seaports and along the coast. It also carries out Mobile Security Monitoring at internal borders within the Schengen area. By participating in Frontex, the European border control agency, and the deployment of a Border Security Team on Chios, the RNLM makes an important contribution to the control of Europe’s external borders in other EU member states.

RNLM criminal investigators investigate criminal offences that come to light during the performance of the border police task. They investigate, for instance, criminal organisations which are involved in people smuggling and human trafficking. RNLM migration control dogs assist in finding concealed persons (stowaways) in, for example, trucks and buses crossing the border.

2. Security and surveillance

The RNLM protects important objects and people. The High Risk Security platoons guard and protect the objects in the Netherlands that carry an increased risk of attacks. The RNLM also protects civil aviation against terrorism, drugs trafficking and people smuggling. Guard dogs help in protecting objects, buildings, airports, and military sites and vehicles.

3. International and military police tasks

The RNLM acts as a police force for all Defence elements. For that reason, RNLM brigades and posts are stationed at barracks, military air bases and naval ports, as well as with units of the Netherlands armed forces abroad.
The RNLM also serves as a police organisation for all foreign armed forces stationed in the Netherlands and RNLM personnel are posted to various international military headquarters.

Military police

The military police task of the RNLM is preventive, service-oriented and reactive. Examples of preventive activities are patrols, traffic duties, maintaining order during exercises, the escort of convoys and giving advice and information to commanders and their personnel. The reactive activities of the RNLM focus on monitoring observance of the Road Traffic Act and environmental legislation, as well as the investigation of criminal offences committed by military personnel (even if those personnel are off duty). RNLM investigators investigate these criminal offences.

The Caribbean Brigade of the RNLM carry out police tasks relevant to Dutch military personnel, the military personnel of the (former) Antillean and Aruban militias and at the military locations in the Caribbean parts of the Kingdom.

Military missions

Dutch military personnel work all over the world during armed conflicts or peacekeeping missions. RNLM personnel almost always go with them, as they are the police force for military personnel abroad as well. They deal with offences, accidents and so on, in which military personnel are involved.

Police missions

During a police mission, the RNLM assists in the reconstruction of the police force in the mission area. They observe the way the local civil police force functions and train and advise police officials.

Special assistance

The deployment of special police and RNLM units is sometimes required to end a life-threatening situation. The Dutch national police force’s Special Intervention Service, which includes RNLM personnel, can, for example, act as an arrest team or end a hostage situation. RNLM Special Assistance Units help to maintain public order when the RNLM riot control unit requires assistance, for instance in the event of violent rioting or a serious terror threat. The Special Assistance Units can also be deployed worldwide in support of local police forces in the event of disasters or conflicts.

RNLM tasks enshrined in law

The RNLM’s tasks are set out in national legislation: