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Groupes d'Intervention de la Police Nationale
Active 1972 - Present
Country France
Branch French National Police
Type Special Forces
Role Domestic Counter-Terrorism and Law Enforcement
Size 170 Operators in 9 units
Motto "La cohésion fait la force" ("Cohesion makes the force")
Engagements Neuilly hostage crisis
Anti-Action Directe arrests
Anti-GIA operations
2005 Paris Riots

GIPN is an initialism for Groupes d'Intervention de la Police Nationale or French National Police Intervention Groups. Its motto is "La cohésion fait la force" or "cohesion makes the force."



After the tragic events of the Munich massacre in which the Israeli team was kidnapped and then killed by Palestinian commandos, 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, taking of hostages, escorts etc.

The first GIPN was created on October 27, 1972 and could only intervene at the request of judges or prosecutors. It was composed of thirty men who have the latest weapons and sophisticated equipment.

The National Police initially formed 11 intervention groups but reduced them to 7 by 1985. This was then expanded to 9 with the creation of GIPN units in Réunion in 1992 and in New Caledonia in 1993.

All the GIPN units are in contact with each other and after each mission they send their synthesis and their strategies to the other groups to share knowledge and if it is needed their intervention techniques.

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, implemented, means and coordination.


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 Nimes) with the assistance of a group of psychologists.

All the National policemen and senior police officers 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 them 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.


The GIPN are 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 and New Caledonia).

RAID is a similar intervention force directly under the management of the national police force and of which the geographic competence which includes the 21 departments of Paris.

Composed of police officers recruited according to very selective criteria, equipped with the best and latest matériels and subjected to a rigorous and followed drive, the GIPN can furnish groups of police officers to the service of other police units.

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.

Deployment of the GIPN in France

In France there are nine GIPN units containing over 170 personnel.

Weapons and equipment

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

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

See also

External links



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