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Think first then dial

Who we are

South Australia Police (SAPOL) provides a range of policing services 24 hours a day, seven days a week to keep South Australians safe.

SAPOL is headed by the Commissioner of Police, who reports directly to the Minister for Police, and comprises 6000 employees including:

  • sworn police officers
  • community constables
  • police security officers
  • specialists and administrative staff
  • volunteers.

We work to protect and reassure individuals and communities across the state through:

  • advocacy
  • education
  • community engagement
  • incident response
  • investigation
  • law enforcement
  • prosecution
  • victim support.

Services and community programs

Core services

  • emergency assistance on Triple Zero - 000
  • non-urgent assistance on 131 444
  • crime prevention
  • child protection
  • coordinating and managing emergency response
  • responding to domestic violence
  • undertaking police checks
  • preventing vehicle crashes
  • regulating road use
  • registration and licensing of firearms
  • administering expiation notices
  • liquor licencing enforcement
  • statewide security
  • upholding the law.

Community programs

SAPOL takes a leadership role in community programs including:

Where we are

You can find South Australia Police at:

  • 28 metropolitan police stations
  • 110 regional police stations
  • police headquarters at 100 Angas Street, Adelaide.

Find your local police station

Our history

The South Australian police force is the oldest centrally controlled police service in Australia and one of the oldest in the world.

It was formed on 28 April 1838 after concerns about felons entering the new settlement from neighbouring colonies.

The first police force comprised 10 Mounted Constables and 10 Foot Constables under the command of Inspector Henry Inman.

In 1840 Major Thomas Shouldham O'Halloran was appointed as the first Commissioner of Police. SAPOL comprised one Superintendent, two Inspectors, three Sergeants and 47 Constables. It was divided into foot and mounted sections.

The police provided a fire service from 1848 to 1867 until the South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service was formed.

Police officers operated the Civil Ambulance Service from 1880 until it was taken over by the St John Ambulance Brigade in 1954.

Since 1838, SAPOL has been at the forefront of many significant changes including:

  • introducing bicycles for metropolitan and country foot police in 1893
  • pioneering the fingerprint system in Australia in 1894
  • appointing the first women police in the British Commonwealth in 1915 - Kate Cocks and Annie Ross
  • being the first Australian police service to introduce videotaping of 'suspect person' interviews in 1987
  • the first Australian policing jurisdiction to appoint a female police officer, Senior Sergeant Jane Kluzek, to a tactical response group (STAR Group in 1999)
  • introducing Operation Nomad in 1993, as a policing initiative to reduce the threat of bushfires, and Crime Stoppers in 1996
  • establishing Neighbourhood Policing Teams in various metropolitan areas, highlighting our strong commitment to policing at a local level
  • the first police jurisdiction in Australia to launch its own web platform connecting mobile phone users to the latest police news in 2011.

Today, modern policing has evolved to focus on community policing, crime prevention, problem-solving and intelligence-led policing to resolve crime, in partnership with the community, rather than just responding to the incidence of crime on its own.


SAPOL is part of the Justice Portfolio of the Government of South Australia and operates under a legislative framework prescribed in the Police Act.

View the Police Act 1998 on the South Australian legislation website.