Rhodesian BSAP Dog Section Unit Plaque

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Original 1970s Bush War Era Rhodesian British South Africa Police Dog Section Unit Plaque.

Copper on wood. Made by H.T. Enterprises of Salisbury, Rhodesia.

Measures approximately 6 1/2” wide and 7 1/2” tall.

“The first use of police dogs within the BSA Police was believed to be shortly after the First World War. This was not sustained. Their re-appearance in service with the CID in 1946 came as a result of the successes by a member of the branch using his own dog, a Doberman Pinscher called ‘Shumba’ to track criminals. One of Shumba’s first tasks was to track three escaped convicts, who stole a Prisons Department vehicle from Salisbury Prison, later recovered outside the city, from where tracking commenced. The three convicts were apprehended.

The more traditional image of a police dog is that of enforcing order, in crowd control and during riots, but Southern Rhodesia’s first police dogs were mostly used for tracking and searching for suspects and stolen property, or for evidence or victims of crime. Patrol dogs were introduced to accompany police officers on the ‘beat’ and guard dogs were also trained by the BSA Police. In later years, the BSA Police, with the assistance of the South African Police, introduced crossbreeds capable of tracking and having a more aggressive disposition, primarily for antiterrorist work. In later years the BSA Police introduced more specialist dogs for detection purposes, principally Labrador dogs for drug control purposes. Police Dog Section units were established in most provinces and extended their function from a simple dog tracking unit to general patrol work, guard dogs, and crowd control, as nationalist fervour and political unrest developed in the country. The onset of guerilla incursions and counter terrorist operations saw the introduction of several breeds, including Bloodhounds, Bouvier des Flanders, and Doberman Pinschers and their cross breeds. Aggressive dogs, with endurance and a good nose which could survive in the bush were the objective.” - Via the BSAP website, you can read more on the unit there and even see the Dog Section Police Roll with a list of known BSAP Dogs! 

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Collections: Archive Tags: Flags & Other, Post WWII, Rhodesia