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:
We work to protect and reassure individuals and communities across the state through:
SAPOL takes a leadership role in community programs including:
You can find South Australia Police at:
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:
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.