National Police Intervention Groups

Groupes d'Intervention de la Police Nationale
Active 27 October 1972- present
Country France France
Branch French National Police
Type Law enforcement
Role Domestic Counter-Terrorism and Law Enforcement

about 200

Garrison/HQ Nouméa (Nouvelle-Calédonie)
Pointe-à-Pitre (Guadeloupe)
Saint-Denis (Réunion)
Motto(s) La cohésion fait la force ("Cohesion brings strength")
Mascot(s) Cobra
Engagements Anti-Action Directe arrests
Anti-GIA operations
2005 Paris Riots
Georges Nguyen Van Loc

National Police Intervention Groups (GIPN) (French: Groupes d'Intervention de la Police Nationale) are regional tactical units of the French National Police located in the French overseas departments and territories. Their motto is "La cohésion fait la force" or "Cohesion brings strength."

From 1972 to 2015, the designation was also used for units based in large cities in metropolitan France. In 2015, the metropolitan GIPNs were integrated into RAID, the National Police's crisis response unit and officially became known as "Regional RAID branches" (French: antennes RAID).[1]


In the wake of the tragic events of the Munich massacre in which Israeli team members were kidnapped and killed by Palestinian terrorists, the various European police forces decided to form special units able to fight against forms of terrorism and for other crises such as excessive use of force, hostage situations, escorts etc.

The French National Police responded by creating an "anti-commmando" brigade - also known as BRI-BAC - within the Paris Research and Intervention Brigade and GIPNs in the largest province cities, while the National Gendarmerie established its own unit : GIGN.

The first GIPN was created on 27 October 1972 in Marseille by the commissaire divisionnaire Georges Nguyen Van Loc and could only intervene at the request of judges or prosecutors. It was composed of thirty men who had the latest weapons and sophisticated equipment and became the second hostage-rescue team of the French National Police after the Paris BRI-BAC.

The National Police initially formed 11 intervention groups but reduced this number to seven by 1985. This was later expanded to nine with the creation of GIPN units in Réunion in 1992 and in New Caledonia in 1993.

The Ministerial Circular of August 4, 1995 established the policies of the use of the GIPN: organization, rules of engagement, territorial competence, missions, principles of actions, implementation, means and coordination.

In November 2013, the metropolitan GIPNs came under operational control of the RAID, the National Police's crisis response that had been established in 1985. Finally, in March 2015, they were permanently integrated and officially became "Regional RAID branches" (French: antennes RAID).[2]


The GIPN were created as units of the Central Directorate of Public Security (Fr: Direction Centrale de la Sécurité Publique or DCSP) which is the uniformed patrol and response branch of the French National Police. The DCSP has competency in 75 departments and within the territorial services of 7 large provincial towns (Lille, Strasbourg, Lyon, Nice, Marseilles, Bordeaux, Rennes) and overseas (La Réunion, New Caledonia and Antilles- French Guiana).

RAID, including its regional branches comes under the authority of the head of the national police force (French: Directeur général de la Police nationale or DGPN). RAID is also the leading unit of the FIPN a semi-permanent force which, when activated includes the BRI of the Préfecture de Police de Paris (BRI-BAC) and the overseas GIPNs.

Composed of police officers recruited according to very selective criteria, equipped with the best and latest material and subjected to a rigorous and followed drive, the GIPN can furnish groups of police officers to the service of other police units. Each unit is commanded by a senior police officer, assisted by a brigadier, brigadier-chef or brigadier-major (within the French National Police, this military rank corresponds approximately to the non-commissioned ranks in the military force). He has the command of his unit during an operation, having though assistance from other participating police services.

They intervene with other services of the National police force, each time the situation requires it, with the constant concern for the preservation of the physical integrity of negotiators and only to use necessary force strictly that as a last resort.

GIPN deployment

There are 3 units in the overseas departments and territories of France:

Weapons and equipment

The GIPN arsenal includes a wide range of weapons such as:

As for personal protection, the GIPN maintains kevlar helmets with bulletproof visors, bulletproof vests of different categories (II; III; IV or V), guards and knuckles, armored shields.


Organised at the national level by the DCSP, the selections take place once a year and roll within a structure DFPN (ENP Saint-Malo or Nîmes) with the assistance of a group of psychologists. The first part of the selection is common to all the FIPN units. All National policemen and senior police officers may apply, as long as they meet the administrative criteria a minimum of 5 years of service and be no more than 35 years old. About fifty candidates are selected and conveyed to the selected site where, during a first week, they must pass a series of events, records review, personality tests, combat ability, claustrophobia, giddiness, athletic ability, swimming etc. At the end of this first week, part of the candidates are eliminated, and the others continue with mental tests during 4 days. After finishing these tests, a score of candidates will be admitted into the GIPN where their training now starts.

See also


  1. Jean-Marc Tanguy Le RAID - 30 ans d'intervention, Editions Pierre de Taillac, Paris - 2015
  2. Jean-Marc Tanguy Le RAID - 30 ans d'intervention, Editions Pierre de Taillac, Paris - 2015 pp 59-60
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