The Research and Intervention Brigade (or Investigation and Intervention Brigade), commonly named BRI (in French: Brigade de Recherche et d’Intervention), is a SWAT unit of the French National Police. During Eurosatory 2018, the BRI has performed a live demonstration showing their capacities to conduct anti-terrorist operations.
A Research and Intervention Brigade (or Investigation and Intervention Brigade), commonly abbreviated BRI (About this sound pronunciation (help·info)) (French: Brigade de Recherche et d’Intervention), often called “Anti-Gang Brigade”, is a unit of the French National Police. BRIs specialise in serious criminal cases such as armed robbery and kidnappings. They typically attempt to catch offenders in the act after monitoring their activities, a technique that was first experimented in the 1960s by the then-new Paris BRI. They use a mix of traditional techniques and modern technology to collect and archive data about banditry.
There are now more than 15 BRI units, located in France’s major cities. The first of them, the Paris BRI (or BRI-PP for Préfecture de Police), was created in 1964.
In 1972, in the wake of the Munich massacre, it was decided that BRI-PP would, as an additional task, form the nucleus of a SWAT task force known as Brigade Anti-Commando (Counter-commando Brigade) or BRI-BAC. BRI-BAC, when activated, is reinforced by other specialised units of the Préfecture de police. It has been involved in the resolution of hostage crises from its beginnings in the early 1970s to the Porte de Vincennes siege in January 2015 and the “Bataclan” assault during the November 2015 Paris attacks. In the last two cases, BRI-BAC and the National Police’s RAID operated together as part of the National Police Intervention Force (French: Force d’Intervention de la Police nationale or FIPN).
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