The National Police (French: Police nationale), formerly the 'Sûreté 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 145,699 employees (in April 2008).
The National Police operates mostly in large cities and towns. In that context:
- it conducts security operations (patrols, traffic control, identity checks)
- under the orders and supervision of the investigating magistrates of the judiciary, it conducts criminal enquiries, serves search warrants, etc.; it maintains specific services ("judicial police") for criminal enquiries.