By: Morgane Jardillier / Edited and translated by: Antonio Anaya, EUROGENDFOR PPIO
Do you need to contact the Gendarmerie? Do you want answers concerning certain specific administrative or judicial procedures? Information on recruitment? Since 27 February 2018, the Digital Brigade is here to answer you!
Located in Rennes, but competent to receive queries from all over France, its role is to promote, via digital platforms, the contact with the population. Captain Patrice Georget, who commands the Digital Brigade, tells us about this new proximity service.
What is the purpose of the Digital Brigade?
It is, above all, a new service offered in response to the needs and expectations of users, whose behavior has changed in a society where online connectivity has changed the way people perform their daily tasks (appointments, relationships between individuals, online shopping…).
The Gendarmerie has, therefore, embarked on its digital transformation in order to modernize its relationship with users, provide them with a better service, and enable them to access the security services online.Thus, it initiated a new form of contact with the users by deploying Neogend in the Units. This device, along with the creation of the Digital Brigade, is now an integral part of the security police on a daily basis.
GendSafe, a first-aid app developed for Néogend. – © MDC Christophe Gonçalves
What are their goals?
The digital brigade is an innovative approach, whose objective is to provide users with a simplified, enriched, and renovated form of contact with the National Gendarmerie, to answer their questions anywhere and at any time.
Starting from the point that more and more users no longer have the time to visit the Territorial Units, the goal of the Digital Brigade is to facilitate the relationship between users and Gendarmes, by using devices such as smartphones, tablets, and computers, which are now commonplace.
By integrating new technologies, the Gendarmerie adapts its operating procedures, forcing them to rethink the way it interacts with the population. The Gendarmes of the Digital Brigade complement, and thus increase, the reception capacity of the Territorial Units.
The Digital Brigade Command Post. – © BRC F. Garcia
How does it work?
The service operates 24/7, without taking into account the emergency services, which remain the competence of the appropriate service platforms (17, 18, 15, and 112). The citizens can thus, from the interface of their choice (smartphone, tablet, computer…), be in permanent contact with the Gendarmerie. For this purpose, several social networks are put are their disposal.
After the initial contact by users, an operator from the Gendarmerie evaluates the request, and offers either online assistance or an appointment with a Gendarme in a place of their choice. In addition, these same users can access a help centre (FAQ type) that allows them to search autonomously for answers to general questions.
Digital Brigade operator. – © BRC F. Garcia
How many Gendarmes are assigned to the Digital Brigade?
The Digital Brigade is composed of 20 Gendarmes, selected for their experience and professional qualifications, as well as for their language skills. The Digital Brigade can be reinforced by reservists, if needed.
What is the mission of the Gendarmes of the Digital Brigade?
The mission of the Digital Brigade’s Gendarmes is to welcome, inform, and guide Internet users, in the same way the Territorial Units already do, but by expanding the offer of contact platforms in relation to those already existing.
The Gendarmes have been trained in the remote reception process, with emphasis placed on the reception of reports by victims of gender violence crimes, for which the operators of the Digital Brigade have been notably trained by France’s Victims Association, and by the 3919 Service “Violence Femmes Info”. The reception of reports from people with disabilities is also planned, but will not be implemented until March 2018, after specific training is imparted.
In addition to these categories of users, the Digital Brigade intends to receive all requests from Internet users by directing them primarily to teleservices (OTV, online reports, Pharos, Perceval, Thesee…) or static sites such as “public.fr”, where users can obtain precise answers to their questions.
The Digital Brigade does not contemplate the reception of general complaints. Nevertheless, its personnel, Judicial Police Officers with national competences, may on their own initiative compile facts constituting criminal offenses of which they might have knowledge, and forward them to the competent Gendarmerie or Police Unit, within the framework of the “one-stop contact” project.
At the end of each exchange, users are provided with the opportunity to indicate the level of satisfaction for the assistance provided.