The hexagon, either in combination with the
five-pointed star or as an entity on its own, is used as rank
insignia by the South African Police Service. The sides and
points of the hexagon symbolize the six cornerstones which are
the essence of the nature of the service the South African
Police Service must render. It forms the acronym "POLICE".
The South African Police Service is a
people-oriented service. It is a service for the community by
the community with the emphasis on the fundamental rights of all
the peoples of South Africa. The rationale is based on the needs
of people and the flexibility of policing, which is the basis
for community policing. It involves a consultative approach in
which the community is the key stakeholder. This approach gives
rise to the need for mechanisms such as Community Police Forums
and other civilian involvement in policing matters.
Public order is one of the most basic human
needs. Historically this specific need gave rise to the
establishment of the policing concept by mankind. The most
important function of any policing agency is to maintain public
order and stability. The South African Police Service is no
exception to this rule. The effective maintenance of order and
stability is the key to the success of the entire South African
Every society needs rules in order to ensure an
orderly environment in which to live. These rules are manifested
in laws that have to be maintained principally by the police.
The Constitution is the highest law in South Africa and provides
the fundamental legal framework within which the South African
Police Service must operate. No one is above the law and the
police have to act against every offender. They must, however,
act in a discrete and responsible manner in order to ensure that
they themselves do not become offenders.
The South African Police Service is bound to
provide an impartial, professional policing service to all the
people of South Africa. The South African Police Service
operates as an arm of the government of the day, with the powers
which, through the democratic process, are allocated to it by
the citizenry. The police are, therefore, not the servants of
any particular political party or group.
The South African Police Service is the main
stakeholder as far as the prevention of crime is concerned. It
is, however, not the only responsible party and needs the
co-operation of other State Institutions and society as a whole.
The police cannot control all the socio-economic factors that
are conducive to crime. The investigation of crime is a very
important policing function and plays an essential role in the
system of criminal justice. The South African Police Service is
bound to do everything humanly possible, within the parameters
of the law, to prevent and solve crime.
The bottom line is that the South African Police
Service is responsible for creating a safe and secure
environment in South Africa. A safe and secure environment does
not only benefit basic activities such as education, health care
and social development, but also promotes international
investment and tourism, which benefits the country as a whole.
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