South African Police Service

South African Police Service

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South African Police Service

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The South African Police Service (SAPS) is the national police force of the Republic of South Africa. Its 1116 police stations in South Africa are divided according to the provincial borders, and a Provincial Commissioner is appointed in each province. The 9 Provincial Commissioners report directly to the National Commissioner.

The Constitution of South Africa lays down that the South African Police Service has a responsibility to prevent, combat and investigate crime, maintain public order, protect and secure the inhabitants of the Republic and their property, uphold and enforce the law, create a safe and secure environment for all people in South Africa, prevent anything that may threaten the safety or security of any community, investigate any crimes that threaten the safety or security of any community, ensure criminals are brought to justice and participate in efforts to address the causes of crime.

From 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2010, 107 SAPS officers died while on duty.


The South African Police Service traces its origin to the Dutch Watch, a paramilitary organization formed by settlers in the Cape in 1655, initially to protect civilians against attack and later to maintain law and order. In 1795 British officials assumed control over the Dutch Watch and in 1825 they organized the Cape Constabulary, which became the Cape Town Police Force in 1840. In 1854 a police force was established in......
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