Among the most characteristic tasks of the Administration, are those related to prevention and surveillance functions, licensing and prior control of very varied activities, where it is necessary to defend a collective or diffuse legal asset, such as the environment, and inspection and sanction, where appropriate, on such activities, always to be exercised in defense of the public interest (article 103 of the Spanish Constitution).
And it is usually distinguished between the administrative coercive power versus the criminal jurisdiction, with the consideration that the Administration corresponds to the preventive and penalizing function of the first degree, and the penal law the second degree or penal penalty, for the most serious cases. that violate legal assets considered valuable, as to justify a criminal reaction (and in this sense Article 45 of the Constitution says).
Well, one or other functions may not be properly exercised by the Administrations, or by the Courts, either in Contentious-Administrative proceedings (Article 106 Spanish Constitution), or in Criminal proceedings, without prior “field work” by public officials or agents of the authority, who do the police work of surveillance, control, inspection, collection of traces for later analysis, record and complaint, and a long etc .; This is what we call the work of the "Administrative Police", which inevitably intersects with what we call the functions of the "Judicial Police" (article 126 Spanish Constitution), both being parallel, very similar in their principles of action and if anything distinguishable by the recipient the actions, and the way to capture them.
In any case, police work is, in many cases, the foundation for the exercise of administrative and jurisdictional powers, in defense of the public interest, and ultimately the actual application of the laws; Without an institutionalized, organized, coordinated police force, with sufficient powers, personal means and material means, it will hardly be possible to be minimally effective in enforcing the norms, especially those of legal rank, hence the initial quote: “It is important to have of laws, but they are useless if they are not applied ”.
PALABRAS CLAVE Policía Medioambiental, Equipos de investigación y protección ambiental.