How to become a detective in SAPS in South Africa

To become a detective in the South African Police Service (SAPS), you need to meet specific requirements and go through a selection process. Here are the general steps to become a detective in SAPS:

  1. Meet the basic requirements: Ensure that you meet the minimum criteria set by the SAPS to be eligible for a detective position. These requirements typically include being a South African citizen, having a valid driver’s license, being proficient in English, and having no criminal record.
  2. Obtain the necessary education: While a specific degree is not always required, having a formal education in a relevant field can be advantageous. Consider pursuing a degree or diploma in fields such as criminology, forensic science, or law enforcement.
  3. Join SAPS as a police officer: To become a detective, you usually need to start as a uniformed police officer within the SAPS. You can apply to become a police officer by visiting your nearest SAPS recruitment office or checking their official website for application details.
  4. Complete the basic police training: If your application is successful, you will be required to attend the Basic Police Development Learning Programme (BPDLP), which is a training course for aspiring police officers. This training typically lasts for about 24 months and covers various aspects of law enforcement.
  5. Gain experience as a police officer: After completing the basic training, you will be assigned to a police station to gain practical experience. Work diligently, learn from experienced officers, and familiarize yourself with police procedures and protocols.
  6. Express your interest in becoming a detective: Once you have gained sufficient experience as a police officer, you can express your interest in joining the detective branch of the SAPS. Speak to your superiors and inform them of your career aspirations. They will guide you through the necessary steps and requirements.
  7. Apply for detective training: The SAPS periodically offers specialized detective training courses. Keep an eye out for these opportunities and apply when they become available. The application process may include written exams, interviews, and assessments to evaluate your suitability for the detective role.
  8. Complete detective training: If you are accepted into the detective training program, you will undergo specific training designed to equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge for investigative work. This training typically covers areas such as crime scene investigation, evidence collection, interviewing techniques, and case management.
  9. Continual professional development: As a detective, it is essential to engage in continuous professional development to stay updated with the latest investigative techniques, laws, and best practices. Attend relevant courses, workshops, and seminars to enhance your skills and knowledge.