Municipal Police (France)

The Police municipale logo
Police municipale Peugeot car in Antibes, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur.
Police municipale in Allos, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur.
Traffic control in Strasbourg, 2007.

The Municipal Police (French: Police Municipale) are the local police of towns and cities in France outside the capital. There are 18,000 municipal police officers in 3,500 communities. The Municipal Police are one of the three components of French policing, alongside the National Police and the National Gendarmerie, with about 145,000 police and 98,000 soldiers respectively. Municipal policing in departments of Paris, Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis, and Val-de-Marne is the responsibility of Paris Police Prefecture, part of the National Police.

Law enforcement roles

Under Article 21 2 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the duties of the municipal police include:

The municipal police may carry out arrests as part of the act [4] and are required to deliver any perpetrator to an officer of the national police or the national gendarmerie.


Approximately 18,000 municipal police officers provide about 13% of the total French law enforcement community.[5]

The municipal police may also incorporate the duties of the forest rangers and game wardens (gardes champêtres) in rural areas.

Year Number of municipal policemen Number of municipalities
with municipal police
1984 5 641 1 748
1987 8 159 2 345
1989 9 361 2 663
1993 10 977 2 849
1999 13 098 3 030
2004[6] 16 673
2010[7] 18 000 3 500
2015 20 000

Legal authority and legislation

The French municipal police are under the direct authority of the Mayor, who is charged with significant powers of police administration, according to the regulations in Article L. 2212-2 du Code général des collectivités territoriales (CGCT) (2212-2 of the General Code of Territorial (CGCT)) with a responsibility to ensure good order, safety, security, and public health, and also to provide an administrative function, known as the "police power of the mayor. "[8]

Although the word "police" refers to the maintenance of order, the function mainly comprises the protection of citizens from disasters, and the task of regulating traffic and parking. To do so, municipalities are required to establish municipal police services, under the authority of the mayor for the task of enforcing local bylaws.

To implement the mayor's responsibility, municipalities can create appropriate services and hire two types of agents: the municipal police, the functions and status are discussed in this article, and Garde champêtre whose employment is often created in rural areas.

The general code regulating local authorities lays down the status of municipal police officers:

"Without prejudice to the general jurisdiction of the national police force and national gendarmerie, within the limits of their powers, the municipal police officers carry out duties required by the town council for crime prevention, public order, security, and public safety.

Without prejudice to the powers accorded them by special laws, they issue traffic fines and penalties for offences listed in Book VI of the penal code established by the Council of State and under the conditions laid down in paragraph 2 of section 21 of the Criminal Procedure Code and penal laws. They are also vested with powers to oversee infringements of Article L. 126-3 of the Code of Construction and Housing. During the course of their duties they act under the authority of the mayor of the municipality. "[9]


Interventions of the municipal police are also carried out in coordination with other police forces; a mandatory agreement defines and limits the nature and location of their interventions and the manner in which they collaborate with other police forces. With the exception of the static guarding of buildings and surveillance of ceremonies, festivals and other events, without this agreement, the tasks of local police can only be exercised between 6 am and 23 pm. Overall supervision and regulation of the municipal police is under the jurisdiction the Ministry of the Interior, which is empowered to carry out inspections by agencies such as the IGPN. Articles L 2212-5 (paragraph 4) [10] and the L CGCT 2212-9,[11] provide for inter-municipal police collaboration between municipalities or groups of municipalities.

The police officers recruited through the municipal council are considered primarily available to every mayor in his hometown for local policing. They may also be required to be sworn in by the district judge to provide services to the national police of neighbouring districts or to the gendarmerie in rural areas.

The municipal police do not generally carry firearms. At the request of the mayor, the prefect of the department in which the commune or municipality is located may authorise municipal police officers to be armed in certain circumstances or for special night work. In some cities, all municipal police officers are permanently armed.

Ranks and rank insignia


See also


Notes and references

  1. L2212-5 of the code of local authorities
  2. L116-2 of the code of the road traffic
  3. L116-2 of the code of the road traffic
  4. Article 73 of the Criminal Procedure Code
  5. Virginie Malochet, « Les polices municipales : points de repères », Note rapide, Institut d'aménagement et d'urbanisme, n° 515, septembre 2010
  6. Protocole d'accord relatif à la professionnalisation des polices municipales
  7. Virginie Malochet, « Les polices municipales : points de repères », Note rapide, Institut d'aménagement et d'urbanisme, n° 515, septembre 2010
  8. Code of Criminal Procedure art. 16, CGCT art. L2122-31.
  9. Article L. 2212-5 du CGCT 2212-5 of CGCT
  10. CGCT, art. L. 2212-5
  11. CGCT, art. 2212-9
  12. "Arrêté du 5 mai 2014 relatif aux tenues des agents de police municipale, pris en application de l'article L. 511-4 du code de la sécurité intérieure". Legifrance. Retrieved 2016-11-19.

2. ↑ Note: Section 21 of the Criminal Procedure Code confers municipal police officers with the status of deputy judicial police officers. As such, it empowers them to assist national police officers in the exercise of their duties, to report to their superiors any crimes, or offenses of which they have knowledge,and in accordance with the instructions of their superior officers, to discover and collect all information required for crime prevention and detection.

3. ↑ CGCT, art. L. 2212-6

4. ↑ CGCT, art. L. 2212-8

7. ↑ Art. L 412-49 of the Code of Commons.

8. ↑ Art. L 412-51 of the Code of Commons

10. ↑ Art. 412-53 of the Code of Commons


External links

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