French National Police

From Academic Kids

fr:Police nationale de:Police Nationale

The National Police (Police Nationale) is one of two national police forces and the main civil law enforcement agency of France, with primary jurisdiction in cities and large towns. The other main agency is the military Gendarmerie, with primary jurisdiction in smaller towns and rural and border areas. The National Police comes under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Interior and has about 150,000 employees.

The National Police operates mostly in large cities and towns. In that context:

  • it conducts security operations (patrols, traffic control...)
  • under the supervision of the judiciary, it conducts criminal enquiries, serves search warrants, etc.; it maintains specific services ("judiciary police") for criminal enquiries.


The National Police is divided into three corps, in the terminology of the French Civil Service, in ascending order of seniority:

  • The Corps de maîtrise et d'application (Authority and Enforcement Corps) corresponds approximately to the enlisted and non-commissioned ranks in a military force, or to constables and sergeants in a British-style civil police force.
    • Gardien de la paix stagiaire ("guardian of the peace, intern")
    • Gardien de la paix ("guardian of the peace")
    • Sous-brigadier
    • Brigadier
    • Brigadier-chef
    • Brigadier-major
  • The Corps de commande et d'encadrement (Command and Management Corps) corresponds approximately to the lower commissioned ranks of a military force, or to grades of inspector in a British-style civil police force. These ranks were previously known as inspecteurs if detectives or officiers de la paix if uniformed, although CRS officers always used the current ranks.
    • Lieutenant student
    • Lieutenant intern
    • Lieutenant (formerly Officier de la paix or Inspecteur)
    • Capitaine (formerly Officer de la paix principal or Inspecteur principal)
    • Commandant (formerly Commandant or Inspecteur divisionnaire)
  • The Corps de conception et de direction (Conception and Direction Corps) corresponds approximately to the higher commissioned ranks of a military force, or to grades of superintendent and chief officers in a British-style civil police force.
    • Commissaire de police (Police Commissioner)
    • Commissaire principal (Principal Commissioner)
    • Commissaire divisionnaire (Divisional Commissioner)
    • Contrôleur général (Controller General)
    • Inspecteur général (Inspector General)
    • Directeur des services actifs (Director of the Active Services)

The powers of making a full arrest, hearing suspects, overseeing searches ordered by the judiciary, etc. are restricted to members of the police or the gendarmerie with the qualification of "officer of judiciary police" (officier de police judiciaire or OPJ). Other officers are only "agents of judiciary police" (agents de police judiciaire or APJ) and have only limited competences, restricted to assisting the officers. See Police in France.


The police is divided into directorates [1] (

Security in the Paris area is the domain of the Paris Prefecture of Police .

See also

External links


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