Direction Régionale de Police Judiciaire de Paris
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The Direction Régionale de Police Judiciaire de Paris (DRPJ Paris), often called the 36, quai des Orfèvres or simply the 36 by the address of its headquarters, is the division of the Police judiciaire in Paris. Its 2,200 officers investigate about 15,000 crimes and offences a year.
The Police judiciaire, abbreviated PJ, is the criminal investigation division of the Police nationale.
36, quai des Orfèvres is often erroneously believed to be the address of the Direction Centrale de la Police Judiciaire, the national authority of the criminal police, which is actually located at the 11, rue des Saussaies, in the buildings of the Ministry of the Interior.
The PJ is the direct successor of the Sûreté, which was founded in 1812 by Eugène François Vidocq as the criminal investigative bureau of the Paris police. The Sûreté served later as an inspiration for Scotland Yard, the FBI and other departments of criminal investigation throughout the world.
In its modern form, the Parisian PJ was created by a decree by Celestin Hennion, the then préfet de police and father of the elite mobile police units called Brigades du Tigre. Unique for their time, they were created with the support of Georges Clémenceau, who was nicknamed "le tigre" (the Tiger). It explains why the PJ emblem consists of a stylized tiger's head.
The PJ should move to the Batignolles neighborhood, in a new building due to be completed in 2015 and shared with the Tribunal de grande instance, Paris's main tribunal. However, the project has been criticized because of its cost and the historic status of the 36.
The Paris PJ comes under the control of the Préfecture de Police and operates over its territorial jurisdiction, which includes the city of Paris but also the three adjacent departments of Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis and Val-de-Marne.
Under the direction and supervision of the judiciary, it is responsible for the fight against criminality and delinquency and for the implementation of all technical, scientific and operational police resources needed for the inquiries. It investigates cases which involve a large scale of crimes and infractions like drug trafficking, prostitution, racketeering, kidnapping, organised crime (either criminal or financial activities), hostage taking, bomb attacks, sexual assaults, or homicides.
The Paris PJ services and units are:
- the état-major with the director and its collaborators;
- the division of the six brigades centrales (central brigades):
- the Brigade criminelle (criminal brigade - BC aka "la Crim'"), the oldest and perhaps most famous, especially in charge of homicides, kidnapping, bomb attacks and investigations involving personalities;
- the Brigade de recherche et d'intervention (research and intervention brigade - BRI aka "l'Antigang"), an elite special intervention unit specialized in hostage taking, very serious cases of armed robbery and catching dangerous gangsters;
- the Brigade de répression du banditisme (banditry repression brigade - BRB), mainly in charge of serious street infractions (bag snatching, burglary...), hold-ups and armed mugging but also of art trafficking and car robbery and traffcking;
- the Brigade des stupéfiants (drugs brigade - BS aka "les Stups"), specialized in drug trafficking;
- the Brigade de protection des mineurs (underages protection brigade - BPM aka "les Mineurs"), in charge of all infractions with victims under 18;
- the Brigade de répression du proxénétisme (procuring repression brigade - BRP aka "la Mondaine") specialized in the surveillance of prostitution and the fight against procuring;
- the division of the territorial districts (Divisions de police judiciaire or DPJ):
- 1ère DPJ (1st DPJ) with jurisdiction over the Center and West of Paris (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 8th, 9th, 16th, 17th arrondissements);
- 2ème DPJ (2nd DPJ) with jurisdiction over the North and East of Paris (10th, 11th, 12th, 18th, 19th, 20th arrondissements);
- 3ème DPJ (3rd DPJ) with jurisdiction over the South of Paris (5th, 6th, 7th, 13th, 14th, 15th arrondissements);
- SDPJ of Hauts-de-Seine;
- SDPJ of Seine-Saint-Denis;
- SDPJ of Val-de-Marne;
- the economic and financial affairs division:
- the Brigade financière (financial brigade), in charge of financial criminality;
- the Brigade de répression de la délinquance astucieuse (clever delinquency repression brigade);
- the Brigade des fraudes aux moyens de paiement (method of payment frauds brigade);
- the Brigade de répression de la délinquance économique (economic delinquency repression brigade);
- the Brigade d'enquête sur les fraudes aux technologies de l'information (IT frauds inquiry brigade);
- the Brigade de recherches et d'investigations financières (financial researches and investigations brigade);
- the investigation support division, which includes notably the Identité judiciaire (judicial identity) in charge of all the technical and scientific analyses.
The DPJ have the qualifications to investigate every kind of crime and infraction committed over their territory, while the central brigades take the most complex cases in their area of qualification and can operate anywhere.
Due to the lack of space, only a few services are still located in the historic building of the 36, quai des Orfèvres. Located there are the état-major, the Brigade criminelle, the Brigade des stupéfiants and the BRI. The other brigades and services are spread in several buildings throughout Paris.
In fiction and films
Because of its history and its iconic status within the French police, the 36 and its services have often been described in novels, films and TV series.
- Commissaire Maigret, a fictional police detective created by Belgian writer Georges Simenon, was based at the Quai des Orfèvres.
- 36, Quai des Orfèvres figures in the novel Long Lost by Harlan Coben.
- Quai des Orfevres is a 1947 film directed by Henri-George Clouzot with Louis Jouvet, Simone Renant, Bernard Blier and Suzy Delair, based on a novel by Stanislaus-Andre Steeman.
- 36, Quai des Orfèvres is a 2004 film by Olivier Marchal, starring Daniel Auteuil, Gérard Depardieu and André Dussollier, centered on the rivalry between the BRB and the BRI. It is partially inspired by real events which occurred during the 1980s.
- The police drama series Spiral follows, among other actors of the Palais de justice, the work and life of three officers from the 2nd DPJ.
- In the novel The Da Vinci Code, the DCPJ was mentioned as the group that found out about Jacques Sauniere's death and is also the force that Sophie Neveu and Bezu Fache are part of.
- The drama film Polisse centers on the Child Protection Brigade (BPM) and a photographer who is assigned to cover the unit. The film won the Jury Prize at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.
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