What is France’s Vigipirate alert system?

The security apparatus follows a three level plan

The alert system helps coordinate efforts between the many branches of France’s security apparatus
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France follows a three level security alert system called Vigipirate to allow police and emergency services to coordinate their resources in times of crisis.

The name Vigipirate is an acronym for Vigilance et protection des installations contre les risques d'attentats terroristes à l'explosif.

The system, first introduced in 1978, has gone through several iterations. Last updated in 2016, there are currently three levels:

Pic: Visactu / The Connexion

When has France been on high alert?

In the past ten years, France has been on its highest level of alert five times:

  • March 19, 2022: After the Toulouse and Montauban shootings.
  • January 7, 2015: After the Charlie Hebdo shooting
  • November 14, 2015: After the November 2015 Paris attacks
  • October 29, 2020: After the 2020 Nice stabbing.
  • October 13, 2023: After the stabbings in Arras

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