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Detectives specialize in criminal investigations working on narcotics, illicit gold and diamond dealings, fraud, murder, robbery and car theft.

Members of the police service with at least two years of service who have the talent for objective investigation may, after selection, enter the detectives' course.

Detectives' duties are varied and sometimes dangerous. They visit crime scenes to reconstruct crimes as completely and as accurately as possible. They take statements from victims and witnesses and obtain descriptions of perpetrators, where possible.

They gather and check evidence and clues and make arrests, as soon as possible. They open files, make detailed reports and testify at trials.

Although most detectives work for the SAPS, private detectives (who may or may not have any formal training) work for various organizations and agencies or may be self-employed.

Satisfying Aspects
- solving crimes and finding missing persons
- helping to uphold public safety
- working with people
- the challenge of solving intricate and complicated cases

Demanding aspects
- working long and irregular hours, for example observation of suspects
- frustration when there are no clues or leads
- sometimes being in dangerous and even life-threatening situations.

A detective should:
- have an eye for detail;
- think logically and show deductive reasoning;
- have good problem-solving skills;
- have a good memory;
- be honest and have integrity;
- inspire confidence;
- make objective judgements;
- be very responsible;
- be physically fit;
- courageous in the face of danger and threats;
- not mind working long and irregular hours under dangerous circumstances.

School Subjects
National Senior Certificate.
Graduates receive preference.

Compulsory Subjects: None
Recommended Subjects: None

Practical and theoretical training at the South African Police Service.

Additional requirements before taking up the detectives course: a service period of at least two years in the SAPS; and undergo a selection test.

Detectives must meet the physical and intellectual standards set by the Department of Police in the areas where they work. Since the requirements in the different branches may differ, contact the Department of Police for full details.

- South African Police Service
- Security organisations
- Self-employment, with own private investigation service

OF&A Head Office
P O Box 78233
Sandton, 2146
Tel:?(011) 706-4110 Fax:?086 6162426

Career Development
South African Police Service
Tel: (012) 393-5023