South African Police Service SAPS

Linked with Adelle Potgieter – South Africa, and with HOPE Foundations, and with The Restoration of Human Abilities Association ROHA.

The South African Police Service is the national police force of the Republic of South Africa.

Policing in South Africa underwent a radical change in 1994 in terms of transformation and democratisation. The previous 11 police agencies (SAP and 10 former homeland agencies) entered a process of amalgamation and rationalisation to create a single South African Police Service (SAPS) which functions at national and nine provincial levels.

Policing in South Africa was traditionally dominated by laws that were non-democratic and which were rejected by the majority of people in the country. The transformation process will see a shift from a force to a service by means of community policing which is aimed at establishing an active and equal partnership between the police and the community. The managerial style of the new SAPS also began a process of transformation from an autocratic, bureaucratic and militaristic command to one that will be characterised by participation and problem solving. (Read the whole article on Global

SAPS Flags.

Excerpt of wikipedia: … As part of the overall reorganization of the police, the government merged the formerly dreaded Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and the police security branch to form a Crime Combatting and Investigation (CCI) Division. The new CCI, with responsibility for reversing the rising crime rate, combined the intelligence and operational resources of the security police with the anticrime capabilities of the CID.

Minister of Law and Order Hernus Kriel in 1991 also appointed an ombudsman to investigate allegations of police misconduct. He increased the recruitment of black police personnel, formed a civilian riot-control unit that was separate from the SAP but worked with it, developed a code of police conduct agreed upon by a number of political parties and communities, and substantially increased police training facilities. In 1992 Kriel began restructuring the SAP into a three-tiered force consisting of a national police, primarily responsible for internal security and for serious crime; autonomous regional forces, responsible for crime prevention and for matters of general law and order; and municipal police, responsible for local law enforcement and for minor criminal matters. He also established police/community forums in almost every police station.

By the time the April 1994 elections were held, the SAP had undergone a significant transformation, in keeping with the nation’s sweeping political reforms. It was a more representative force, with greater dedication to protecting citizens’ rights. The SAP was renamed the South African Police Service (SAPS), and the Ministry of Law and Order was renamed the Ministry of Safety and Security, in keeping with these symbolic reforms. The new minister of safety and security, Sydney Mufamadi, obtained police training assistance from Zimbabwe, Britain and Canada and proclaimed that racial tolerance and human rights would be central to police training programs in the future. By the end of 1995, the SAPS had incorporated the ten police agencies from the former homelands and had reorganized at both the national level and at the level of South Africa’s nine new provinces.

The SAPS headquarters in Pretoria is organized into six divisions. These are the Crime Combatting and Investigation Division, the Visible Policing Division, the Internal Stability Division, the Community Relations Division, the Supporting Services Division, and the Human Resource Management Division.

The Crime Combatting and Investigation Division holds overall responsibility for coordinating information about crime and investigative procedures. It administers the SAPS Criminal Record Center, the SAPS Commercial Crime Unit, the SAPS Diamond and Gold Branch, the South African Narcotics Bureau, the Stock Theft Unit, the Inspectorate for Explosives, murder and robbery units located in each major city, and vehicle theft units throughout the country. In addition, the division manages the National Bureau of Missing Persons, which was established in late 1994.

The Visible Policing Division manages highly public police operations, such as guarding senior government officials and dignitaries. Most government residences are guarded by members of the division’s Special Guard Unit. The division’s all-volunteer Special Task Force handles hostage situations and other high-risk activities. The Internal Stability Division is responsible for preventing and quelling internal unrest, and for assisting other divisions in combatting crime. The Community Relations Division consults with all police divisions concerning accountability and respect for human rights. The Supporting Services Division manages financial, legal, and administrative aspects of the SAPS. The Human Resource Management Division helps to hire, to train, and to maintain a competent work force for the SAPS.

Three police unions were active in bargaining on behalf of police personnel and in protecting the interests of the work force, as of 1996. These are the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU), which has about 15,000 members; the South African Police Union (SAPU), which has about 35,000 members; and the Public Service Association (PSA), which has about 4,000 members. (Read the whole long article on wikipedia).

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