Evolution of The South African Honours System - Police Decorations and Medals

Police Decorations and Medals

South African policemen were eligible for the British King's Police Medal from 1909 to 1933. Since 1923, South Africa has awarded its own police decorations and medals.

Until 1986, there were two police forces : the South African Police and the South African Railways Police Force. Both were eligible for the King's Police Medal (and for the South African version of the medal, which was instituted in 1937), and each had a long service medal which doubled as a decoration for bravery.

After South Africa became a republic (in 1961), the government instituted an entirely new series of decorations and medals for the SAP. It was added to several times over the years, and eventually consisted of decorations for bravery, for distinguished leadership, and for outstanding service; a campaign medal; and long service medals. A similar series of decorations was established for the railways police in 1966.

In 1994, the SAP amalgamated with the police forces of the former "homelands" inside South Africa, to form the SA Police Service. The SAPS continued to use the SAP decorations and medals until they were replaced by the current series of awards in 2004. This comprises two decorations for bravery, three for meritorious service, and four long service medals. There are also commemorative medals, and a decoration for police dogs and horses.

A corresponding series of decorations and medals was established for municipal and metropolitan police forces in 2008.

Read more about this topic:  Evolution Of The South African Honours System

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