Gendarmerie

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Gendarmes in the rue Vernet, near the Champs-Elysees, in Paris Gendarmerie BMW R1100RT.jpg
Gendarmes in the rue Vernet, near the Champs-Élysées, in Paris
The Spanish Guardia Civil's during Our Lady of the Pillar celebration Celebracion de la Patrona de la Guardia Civil 04.jpg
The Spanish Guardia Civil 's during Our Lady of the Pillar celebration
Members of Italy's gendarmerie, the Carabinieri, on public order duties in Florence Firenze.Carabinieri01.JPG
Members of Italy's gendarmerie, the Carabinieri , on public order duties in Florence
Officers of the Polish Zandarmeria Wojskowa ("Military Gendarmerie") Zandarmeria Wojskowa-ORP Grom 2008.jpg
Officers of the Polish Żandarmeria Wojskowa ("Military Gendarmerie")
Officers of the Portuguese Guarda Nacional Republicana territorial patrol Patrulha GNR.jpg
Officers of the Portuguese Guarda Nacional Republicana territorial patrol
A Romanian Gendarmerie instructor (right) in a training mission with a member of the Afghan National Police Romanian Gendarmerie provide heavy weapons knowledge to Afghan National Police (6301325266).jpg
A Romanian Gendarmerie instructor (right) in a training mission with a member of the Afghan National Police
Members of Serbian Zandarmerija marching in full combat gear Zandarmerija spec.jpg
Members of Serbian Žandarmerija marching in full combat gear
A vedette of the French Gendarmerie Maritime in La Rochelle harbour Gendarmerie maritime la Rochelle.jpg
A vedette of the French Gendarmerie Maritime in La Rochelle harbour
A Turkish Gendarmerie General Command on guard at Topkapi Palace in Istanbul Topkapi sarayinda nobetci Jandarma Eri.jpg
A Turkish Gendarmerie General Command on guard at Topkapı Palace in Istanbul

A gendarmerie or gendarmery ( /ʒɒnˈdɑːrməri, ʒɒ̃-/ ) is a military component with jurisdiction in civil law enforcement. The term gendarme (English: /ˈʒɒndɑːrm/ ) is derived from the medieval French expression gens d'armes, which translates to "armed people". [1] In France and some Francophone nations, the gendarmerie is a branch of the armed forces responsible for internal security in parts of the territory (primarily in rural areas and small towns in the case of France) with additional duties as a military police for the armed forces. [1] This concept was introduced to several other Western European countries during the Napoleonic conquests. [2] In the mid twentieth century, a number of former French mandates or colonial possessions such as Lebanon , Syria, and the Republic of the Congo adopted a gendarmerie after independence. [3] [4]

Military organized body primarily tasked with preparing for and conducting war

A military is an armed force intended for warfare, typically officially authorized and maintained by a sovereign state, with its members identifiable by their distinct military uniform. It may consist of one or more military branches such as an Army, Navy, Air Force and in certain countries, Marines and Coast Guard. The task of the military is usually defined as defence of the state and its interests against other states. Beyond warfare, the military may be employed in additional sanctioned and non-sanctioned functions within the state, including internal population control, the promotion of a political agenda, emergency services and reconstruction, protecting corporate economic interests, and social ceremonies. The military may also function as a discrete subculture within a larger civil society, through the development of separate infrastructures, which may include housing, schools, utilities, logistics, health and medical, law, food production, finance and banking.

Law enforcement system by which some members of society act in an organized manner to enforce the law

Law enforcement is any system by which some members of society act in an organized manner to enforce the law by discovering, deterring, rehabilitating, or punishing people who violate the rules and norms governing that society. Although the term may encompass entities such as courts and prisons, it is most frequently applied to those who directly engage in patrols or surveillance to dissuade and discover criminal activity, and those who investigate crimes and apprehend offenders, a task typically carried out by the police or another law enforcement organisation. Furthermore, although law enforcement may be most concerned with the prevention and punishment of crimes, organizations exist to discourage a wide variety of non-criminal violations of rules and norms, effected through the imposition of less severe consequences.

France Republic with mainland in Europe and numerous oversea territories

France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.

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The growth and expansion of gendarmerie units worldwide has been linked to an increasing reluctance by some governments to use military units typically entrusted with external defense for combating internal threats. [1] A somewhat related phenomenon has been the formation of paramilitary units which fall under the authority of civilian police agencies. Since these are not strictly military forces, however, they are not considered gendarmerie. [5]

Paramilitary Militarised force or other organization

A paramilitary is a semi-militarized force whose organizational structure, tactics, training, subculture, and (often) function are similar to those of a professional military, but which is formally not part of a government's armed forces.

Some of the more prominent modern gendarmerie organizations include the French National Gendarmerie, Spanish Civil Guard, Italian Carabinieri, Portuguese National Republican Guard and the Turkish Gendarmerie. [5]

National Gendarmerie gendarmerie branch of the French Armed Forces

The National Gendarmerie is one of two national police forces of France, along with the National Police. It is a branch of the French Armed Forces placed under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Interior—with additional duties to the Ministry of Defense. Its area of responsibility includes smaller towns, rural and suburban areas, while the Police Nationale—a civilian force—is in charge of cities and downtowns. Due to its military status, the Gendarmerie also fulfills a range of military and defense missions. The Gendarmes also have a cybercrime division. It has a strength of more than 100,000 personnel as of 2014.

The Civil Guard is the oldest law enforcement agency covering the whole of Spain. It is organised as a military force charged with police duties under the authority of both the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Defence. The corps is colloquially known as the benemérita (reputable). In annual surveys, it generally ranks as the national institution most valued by Spaniards, closely followed by other law enforcement agencies and the military. It has both a regular national role and undertakes specific foreign peace-keeping missions. As a national police force, the Guardia Civil is comparable today to the French National Gendarmerie, the Italian Carabinieri, the Portuguese National Republican Guard and the Dutch Royal Marechaussee as it is part of the European Gendarmerie Force.

The Carabinieri are the national gendarmerie of Italy who primarily carry out domestic policing duties. It is one of Italy's main law enforcement agencies, alongside the Polizia di Stato and the Guardia di Finanza. As with the Guardia di Finanza but in contrast to the Polizia di Stato, the Carabinieri are a military force. As the fourth branch of the Italian Armed Forces, they come under the authority of the Ministry of Defence. In practice, there is a significant overlap between the jurisdiction of the Polizia di Stato and Carabinieri, who are contacted on separate emergency telephone numbers. Unlike the Polizia di Stato, the Carabinieri have responsibility for policing the military, and a number of members regularly participate in military missions abroad.

Etymology

The word gendarme comes from the Old French gens d'armes, meaning men-at-arms. During the Late Medieval to the Early Modern period, the term referred to a heavily armoured cavalryman of noble birth, primarily serving in the French army. The word gained policing connotations only after the French Revolution when the Maréchaussée of the Ancien Régime was renamed the Gendarmerie.

Old French was the language spoken in Northern France from the 8th century to the 14th century. In the 14th century, these dialects came to be collectively known as the langue d'oïl, contrasting with the langue d'oc or Occitan language in the south of France. The mid-14th century is taken as the transitional period to Middle French, the language of the French Renaissance, specifically based on the dialect of the Île-de-France region.

Man-at-arms Armoured medieval soldier

A man-at-arms was a soldier of the High Medieval to Renaissance periods who was typically well-versed in the use of arms and served as a fully armoured heavy cavalryman. A man-at-arms could be a knight or nobleman, a member of a knight or nobleman's retinue or a mercenary in a company under a mercenary captain. Such men could serve for pay or through a feudal obligation. The terms knight and man-at-arms are often used interchangeably, but while all knights equipped for war certainly were men-at-arms, not all men-at-arms were knights.

Late Middle Ages period of European history generally comprising the 14th and 15th centuries

The Late Middle Ages or Late Medieval Period was the period of European history lasting from 1250 to 1500 AD. The Late Middle Ages followed the High Middle Ages and preceded the onset of the early modern period.

Historically, the spelling in English was gendarmery, but now the French spelling gendarmerie is more common. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) uses gendarmery as the principal spelling; Merriam-Webster uses gendarmerie as the principal spelling.

<i>Oxford English Dictionary</i> premier British dictionary of the English language

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is the principal historical dictionary of the English language, published by Oxford University Press. It traces the historical development of the English language, providing a comprehensive resource to scholars and academic researchers, as well as describing usage in its many variations throughout the world. The second edition, comprising 21,728 pages in 20 volumes, was published in 1989.

Merriam-Webster American publisher

Merriam-Webster, Inc., is an American company that publishes reference books and is especially known for its dictionaries.

Title and status

These forces are normally titled "gendarmerie", but gendarmeries may bear other titles, for instance the Carabinieri in Italy, the Guarda Nacional Republicana in Portugal, the Guardia Civil in Spain, the Royal Marechaussee in the Netherlands or Internal Troops/National Guard in Ukraine and Russia.

Italy republic in Southern Europe

Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a country in Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 (116,350 sq mi) and has a largely temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe.

Portugal Republic in Southwestern Europe

Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic, is a country located mostly on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. It is the westernmost sovereign state of mainland Europe. It is bordered to the west and south by the Atlantic Ocean and to the north and east by Spain. Its territory also includes the Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira, both autonomous regions with their own regional governments.

Spain Kingdom in Southwest Europe

Spain, officially the Kingdom of Spain, is a country mostly located on the Iberian Peninsula in Europe. Its territory also includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, and the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country (Morocco). Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are also part of Spanish territory. The country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar; to the north and northeast by France, Andorra, and the Bay of Biscay; and to the west and northwest by Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean.

As a result of their duties within the civilian population, gendarmeries are sometimes described as "paramilitary" rather than "military" forces (especially in the English-speaking world where policing is rarely associated with military forces) although this description rarely corresponds to their official status and capabilities. Gendarmes are very rarely deployed in military situations, except in humanitarian deployments abroad.

A gendarmerie may come under the authority of a ministry of defence (e.g. Italy), a ministry of the interior (e.g. Romania, Ukraine), or even both at once (e.g. Chile, France, Spain and Portugal). Generally there is some coordination between a ministry of defence and a ministry of the interior over the use of gendarmes.

A few forces which are no longer considered military retain the title "gendarmerie" for reasons of tradition. For instance, the French language title of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police is Gendarmerie royale du Canada (GRC) (i.e., Royal Gendarmerie of Canada) because this force traditionally had some military-style functions (although separate from the Canadian Army) and has retained its status as a regiment of dragoons. The Argentine Gendarmerie is a military force in terms of training, identity and public perception, and was involved in combat in the Falklands War, however it is classified as a "security force" not an "armed force", to exercise jurisdiction over the civilian population under Argentine law.

Since different countries may make different use of institutional terms such as "gendarmerie", there are cases in which the term may become confusing. For instance, in the French-speaking Cantons of Switzerland the "gendarmeries" are the uniformed civil police (see: Gendarmerie (Switzerland)). In Chile, the word "gendarmerie" refers for historic reasons to the prison service (the "Chilean Gendarmerie"), while the actual gendarmerie force is called the "carabineros".

In some cases, a police service's military links are ambiguous and it can be unclear whether a force should be defined as a gendarmerie (e.g. Mexico's Federal Police, Brazil's Military Police, or the former British South Africa Police until 1980). Some historical military units, such as South-West Africa's Koevoet , were only defined as police for political reasons. [6] Services such as the Italian Guardia di Finanza would rarely be defined as gendarmeries since the service is of an ambiguous military status and does not have general policing duties amongst the civilian population. In Russia, the modern National Guard (successor of the Internal Troops) are military units with quasi-police duties but historically, different bodies within the Tsarist Special Corps of Gendarmes performed a variety of functions as an armed rural constabulary, urban riot control units, frontier guards, intelligence agents and political police. Prior to the creation of the Irish Free State in 1922, British rule was based on the Royal Irish Constabulary—a drilled and armed force located in rural "barracks" that was a gendarmerie in all but in name.

In 2014 the Mexican Federal Police, a heavily armed force which has many attributes of a gendarmerie, created a new seventh branch of service called the National Gendarmerie Division. The new force would initially number 5,000 personnel and was created with the assistance of the French gendarmerie. [7]

Role and services

In comparison to civilian police forces, gendarmeries may provide a more disciplined force whose military capabilities (e.g., armored group in France with armored personnel carriers) make them more capable of dealing with armed groups and with all types of violence. On the other hand, the necessity of a more stringent selection process for military service, especially in terms of physical prowess and health, restricts the pool of potential recruits in comparison to those a civilian police force could select from. They also provide a state with flexibility in policing, as the military regulations of a gendarmerie may exempt it from certain gaps in service affecting the civilian police, for example regarding the right to strike.

In countries where the gendarmerie and civilian police co-exist there may be rivalries and tensions between the forces. This was one of the reasons cited for the decision to disband the Belgian Gendarmerie, absorbing its functions into those of a new national police force.

Since the year 2000 four European countries—Belgium, Luxembourg, Greece and Austria—have replaced long-established gendarmeries with civilian police forces having no military links or functions.

In France, the gendarmerie is in charge of rural areas and small towns (typically less than 10.000 inhabitants) which represent 95% of the territory and close to 50% of the population. Besides its territorial organization, it has crowd and riot control units (the Gendarmerie Mobile , along with some corresponding units in the civilian police), counter-terrorism and hostage rescue (GIGN, again along with some corresponding units in the civilian police), maritime surveillance, police at sea and coast guard ( Gendarmerie maritime ), control and security at airports and air traffic police ( Gendarmerie des transports aériens ), official buildings guard, honorary services and protection of the President ( Garde Républicaine ), mountain rescue (Peloton de Gendarmerie de Haute Montagne) and security of nuclear weapons sites.

In Argentina the Gendarmería Nacional Argentina (GNA, Argentina National Gendarmerie) can act as border patrol forces, defending and patrolling the land frontiers, antiterrorism, VIP escort missions, hostage situations and special military operations in war times (when the GNA is attached to the Argentine Army) with their 601st Special Operations Squadron "Alacran", which took part in the Falkland/Malvinas conflict. [8] Also the GNA is responsible for key facilities (such as nuclear facilities) and government building protection and recovery in case of criminal or enemy activities, counter-narcotraffic operations, internal security reinforcement of other provincial and federal security forces, pacification, smuggling control, road controls on federal highways, and counter-sedition activities under martial law. [9] The GNA often take part in UN peace keeping missions. [10]

French influence

The use of military organisations to police civilian populations is common to many time periods and cultures. Although not wholly a French concept, the French Gendarmerie has been the most influential model for such an organisation.

Many countries that were once under French rule and influence have a gendarmerie. Italy, Belgium and Austria have had gendarmeries through Napoleonic influence for instance but, while Italy still has the Italian equivalent known as the Carabinieri, Belgium and Austria's gendarmeries have merged with the civil police (in, respectively, 2001 and 2005). Many former French colonies, especially in Africa, also have gendarmeries. The Dutch Royal Marechaussee, was created by King William I to replace the French Gendarmerie after French rule ended.

The national police force of Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police is referred to in French as the Gendarmerie royale du Canada (GRC). However the RCMP is a mainly civilian organisation within Public Safety Canada. It is not part of the Canadian Department of National Defence, but does have a paramilitary wing.

A common gendarmerie symbol is a flaming grenade, first used as insignia by the French force.

Role in modern conflicts

Gendarmes play an important role re-establishing law and order in conflict areas, a task which is suited to their purpose, training and capabilities. [11] [12] Gendarmeries are widely used for internal security and in peacekeeping operations, for instance in the former Yugoslavia [11] and in Ivory Coast, [13] sometimes via the European Gendarmerie Force. [14]

See also

Related Research Articles

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A gendarmerie is a police force that is generally part of the armed forces of a country, and is responsible for policing the civilian population

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Guardia is an Italian and Spanish word meaning "guard". It may refer to:

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National Guard Forces Command

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References

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  2. Emsley, Clive (1999). Gendarmes and the State in Nineteenth-Century Europe (1999 ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 52–57. ISBN   978-0198207986.
  3. Deep, Daniel (2012). Occupying Syria Under the French Mandate: Insurgency, Space and State Formation. Cambridge University Press. p. 204. ISBN   978-1-107-00006-3.
  4. Clark, John; Decalo, Samuel (2012). Historical Dictionary of Republic of the Congo. Lanham: Scarecrow Press. pp. 44–49. ISBN   978-0-8108-7989-8.
  5. 1 2 Kumar, Kuldeep (2016-04-14). Police and Counterinsurgency: The Untold Story of Tripura's COIN Campaign (2016 ed.). SAGE Publications India. pp. 90–94. ISBN   978-9351507475.
  6. Binaifer Nowrojee, Bronwen Manby (1993). Accountability in Namibia: Human rights and the transition to democracy (2001 ed.). Human Rights Watch. pp. 17–20. ISBN   978-1-56432-117-6.
  7. The Economist, August 23, 2014, pp. 30–31.
  8. "Gendarmeria Nacional Argentina". gendarmeria.gob.ar.
  9. "Gendarmeria Nacional Argentina". gendarmeria.gob.ar.
  10. "Historia General de las Relaciones Exteriores de la Republica Argentina (Tomo XV)". argentina-rree.com.
  11. 1 2 composition of the KFOR
  12. Giovanni Arcudi, Forces de police et forces armées, sécurité et défense: où sont les frontières?, Cahier du GIPRI, n° 2, pp. 17-64.
  13. official website of the French Defence Ministry (in French)
  14. Arcudi, Giovanni; Smith, Michael E. (2013). "The European Gendarmerie Force: A solution in search of problems?". European Security. 22: 1–20. doi:10.1080/09662839.2012.747511.