Last modified: 2005-10-08 by bruce berry
Keywords: namibia | police |
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image by Ivan Sache, 24 Jan 2005
The first formal policing in the country was done by the German "Kaiserliche Schutztruppe" as part of their overall responsibilities. However on 1st March 1905 the first police force was established in the form of the "Kaiserliche Landespolizei fur Deutsch Südwestafrika". During 1907 this force reached an establishment of 400 members and during the same year it took delivery of its first motor vehicle. However, the horse and camel remains for years the standard means of transport. Camels were mostly used at places like Stampriet, Tsinsabis and Witdraai. The last camels was withdrawn from service just after the Second World War.
The period of policing by the "Landespolizei" ceased with the South African invasion during the First World War, where after policing again fells within a military formation. Five regiments of the South African Mounted Rifleman stayed in the country on garrison and policing duties after the withdrawal of the South African Main Force. In the meantime the recruiting of a military police force commenced in Bloemfontein (South Africa) and during February 1916, the new force took over the policing function with 52 officers and 1100 other ranks Also during 1916 a Training Centre with 16 instructors was established for training of the members who were mostly young and inexperienced. They were subjected to a five months intensive training course. The Training Centre also trained police dogs which followed in the footsteps of the "Landespolizei" who also used dogs for detection purposes.
The military police force was disbanded on 31 December 1919 and the members were taken up in the South West African police force. A detective unit was established during May 1920. Mounted police patrols in the Khomas Hochland normally lasted for three weeks at a time and some of the camel patrols, lasted as long as 65 days. During 1939 the South West African police force was disbanded and the policing responsibility was taken over by the South African Police.
On 1st April 1981 the policing function was transferred by the South
African Police to a newly established South West African Police force. On the
21st March 1990 the country became independent and together with the newly born
Namibian nation, that was also the birth of the new Namibian Police Force.
Information from the Namibian Police website.
Roman Darbellay, 25 Oct 2001
image sent by Roman Darbellay, 25 Oct 2001