Direction centrale des renseignements généraux
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The Direction Centrale des Renseignements Généraux (Central Direction of General Intelligence), often called Renseignements Généraux (RG), is the intelligence service of the French police, under orders of the Direction Générale de la Police Nationale (DGPN), and ultimately of the Ministry of the Interior. It is also in charge of the monitoring of gambling places and horse racing ranges.
The RG is subdivised into four sub-directions:
- Analysis, prospective and society facts
- Resources and methods
- Games and casinos
The RG employ 3 850 public servents of the Police. They are not covered by the defence classification (of their name, for instance), though some of them have access to have security clearance (some of the files are classified information).
Members of the RG do not have a judiciary police qualification as long as they work for this service, except for those of the "Games and casinos" sub-direction.
The current chief of the RG is Pascal Mailhos.
 Sub-direction of Research
The Sub-direction of Research is in charge of intelligence, prevention and repression of terrorist acts, particularly by monitoring groups and organisations likely to be linked to such activities.
 Sub-direction of Analysis, prospective and society facts
The Sub-direction of Analysis, prospective and society facts is in charge of analysing and syntesing data collected from social, financial or other institutions.
 Sub-direction of Resources and methods
The Sub-direction of Resources and methods is in charge of recruitement, logistics, documentation and juridical matters, as well as of budget and formation of personels.
 Sub-direction of Games and casinos
The Sub-direction of Games and casinos monitors these places, and also has judiciary and police powers there.
Although police intelligence services appeared in the Ancien Régime, the term "Renseignements Généraux" dates back to 1907, with the creation by the director of the General Security, Célestin Hennion, of an intelligence department parallel to the judiciary services.
During the 30s, the activities of fascist groups, more or less manipulated by foreign powers, (like "La Cagoule") triggered the creation of a "Direction des services de renseignements généraux et de la police administrative" (1937), followed by a "Inspection générale des services de renseignements généraux et de la police administrative" (1938).
In 1941, the Regime of Vichy created its own service, named "direction centrale des Renseignements généraux".
After the liberation of France, the RG took back the role that they had in the 30s. With the context of the decolonisation, they were confronted to new threats, notably the emergence of modern terrorism with the OAS.
From 1973, the role of borders monitoring was detached to a dedicated service, the "Police de l'Air et des Frontières" (PAF).
From the 90s, the RG have been confronted to new events. They now particularly monitor radical islamism, altermondialisation movements and cults.
Over the years, there have been numerous accusations that the RG has engaged in illegal spying on journalists or political opponents of the government. The suppression of the RG or their integration with some other police services, such as the DST, was suggested several times, but never implemented.