The BSAP remained ‘the first line of defence’, the sole established military unit in Southern Rhodesia for fifty years. Although a sprinkling of its members were drawn into the Southern Rhodesia Staff Corps in the thirties and thus formed the nucleus of what was to become, in very broad terms, the Rhodesian Army, it was members of the BSAP, both black and white who fought against the Germans in both German East and West Africa during the First World War.

Over twenty years later many members of the Police served in East Africa, the Mediterranean and Middle East during the Second World War. The BSAP, traditionally and proudly held the position of “Right of the Line".

In 1966 PATU (Police Anti Terrorist Unit) was formed to carry out special duties involving combating the African Nationalists that were involved in terrorist activities.

As the war escalated the combat duties of the BSAP expanded and several new units were formed for special anti-terrorist duties.

These included:

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