Gendarmerie Nationale

The Gendarmerie Nationale of France is a national paramilitary police force which polices communes with populations of fewer than 5,000. The Gendarmerie is actually part of the French army and is run by the Ministry of War, although it is also responsible to the Ministry of the Interior for public order policing and to the … Continue reading Gendarmerie Nationale


Policing in France: An Overview

France is policed by two distinct types of uniformed police: the Gendarmerie Nationale and the Police Municipale. Foreigners often refer to all French policemen as ‘gendarmes’, but this is inaccurate. Although the municipal policeman wears a similar uniform to the true gendarme, he is actually a very different beast and the two should not be confused. … Continue reading Policing in France: An Overview

Local Government in France

Administratively, France is divided into 89 départements (counties), each of which is usually divided into three or four arrondissements (districts). These are headed respectively by a préfet (prefect) and a sous-préfet (sub-prefect), who are civil servants appointed by the President of the Republic and are responsible to the Minister of the Interior. Their offices, and … Continue reading Local Government in France