As in many other countries with a French colonial heritage, law enforcement in Benin is a responsibility primarily shared by a gendarmerie and a police force.


The National Police of Benin (French: Police nationale du Bénin) is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Interior, Public Security and Religious Affairs (MISPC, French: Ministère de l’Intérieur, de la Sécurité publique et des Cultes).[1] The country is divided into six directions départementales. Police training is conducted at the national police school in Cotonou.


The Gendarmerie nationale béninoise has both military and police roles. Due to its military status, the gendarmerie answers to the Ministry of Defence. It is headquartered in Porto-Novo. As a police force, it has administrative and judiciary police powers. It operates both in territorial units, responsible for defined areas, and mobile units, which can be dispatched. Overall, it has jurisdiction in nearly 90% of the country's territory.

Other forces

In addition to the police and gendarmerie, law enforcement is provided by several forces, including customs (les Douanes), game wardens (les Eaux et forêts) and the Unité mixte de contrôle des conteneurs (UMCC).

Joint container inspection unit

The 'Unité mixte de contrôle des conteneurs includes staff from the Police, Gendarmerie, Douanes, and Eaux et forêts. Stationed in the harbour of Cotonou, it inspects containers in order to prevent the shipping of prohibited items such as drugs, weapons and counterfeit goods.[1]


  1. ^ a b "Bénin". INTERPOL (in French). INTERPOL. Retrieved 19 June 2015. 

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  1. World Police Encyclopedia, ed. by Dilip K. Das & Michael Palmiotto published by Taylor & Francis. 2004,
  2. World Encyclopedia of Police Forces and Correctional Systems,second edition, Gale., 2006
  3. Sullivan, Larry E. Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, 2005.