DURBAN – South African Police Service officers are expected to wear their uniform in a specific order, especially when posting on social media platforms, SAPS said some officers were damaging the professional image of the organisation when posing in uniform on social media platforms.
That was according to a circular that was stamped for circulation on January 3, 2022, to the national head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, all divisional commissioners, all provincial commissioners, corporate communication, all heads of the head office, all section heads of the head office, all commanders of the SAPS academy and training centres, the chief of staff ministry for the police and all deputy national commissioners.
The circular was signed by SAPS national commissioner Khehla Sitole on December 24, 2021.
The circular states that it came to the attention of SAPS management that certain members were damaging the professional image of the organisation when posing in uniform on social media platforms.
“Commanders are requested to view and continuously monitor social media platforms like TikTok, Facebook, Instagram etc, where certain members bring the South African Police Service into disrepute as videos/pictures posted are of indecent content and distasteful,” read the circular.
It said members who are involved in the broadcasting of these videos/pictures while in uniform must remove such videos/pictures from social media platforms with immediate effect.
“In instances where members are recognised, commanders must immediately take disciplinary action against such member(s),” read the circular.
“It is once again brought to the attention of all members to refrain from posing and posting any videos/pictures of member(s) in uniform or pieces thereof in a derogatory manner.”
It also said it was noted with disappointment that senior members circulate or repost these images and were therefore promoting these acts that tarnish the image of the SAPS.
“It has also been noted that female members are not complying to the Dress Orders’ Chapter 4 paragraph 27(2) which states ‘nail polish of red, pink, brown or shades may be worn with the uniform so that it does not mar the uniform. Nails may not be painted a variety of colours and must be neat at all times. False nails are not allowed’. There is also a tendency by female members not to wear earrings as prescribed in Dress Order. The wearing of other facial jewellery i.e nose ring/stud, lip piercing, etc, is prohibited,” the circular read.
The circular added that displaying police equipment and the manner in which official firearms and ammunition are handled by members of the police service on social media platforms amounted to negligence and reckless behaviour which cannot be condoned.
Commanders must ensure that all members are in full compliance to the Dress Order as members must be inspected during parades to ensure conforming to the Dress Order.
The circular called on commanders to assist in eradicating “unacceptable practises”.