New guns, cameras and bots for police
Shanmugam also says more officers will be trained in counter-terror tactics
The Singapore Police Force will be getting a tech boost in the coming months to help with front-line policing, training, surveillance and community outreach. The roll-out will include more police cameras, drones and training bots.
Unveiling this at the annual Police Workplan Seminar yesterday, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) said more than 90,000 police cameras have already been installed and used to solve more than 5,000 cases.
More cameras will be installed at new public housing blocks, hawker centres and transport nodes.
The SPF also intends to deploy more remote drones, which will be used in surveillance, patrols and remote viewing of incidents.
Police officers will also be getting new guns and body-worn cameras. The Taurus M85 revolver will be replaced by the Glock 19 Gen 5 pistol, which carries three times more rounds. All front-line regulars will be trained to use the new weapon by the end of 2023.
Their body-worn cameras will be replaced with a newer version that has a longer battery life of 13 hours, compared with the current 2.5 hours. The new cameras, to be rolled out by year-end, can record in full high-definition, live stream and wipe out data remotely.
In his speech at the seminar, Minister for Home Affairs and Law K. Shanmugam cited a recent Institute of Policy Studies poll that showed public confidence in the SPF was high.
"We have to maintain this high level of public confidence, which is not an easy task, given the challenges faced by SPF and the Home Team in general."
To deal with these challenges, more officers will be trained in counter-terrorism tactics and response, and they will also deepen their expertise in cybercrime and financial crime.
Police trainees may soon get to work with two new remote-controlled bots developed with the Home Team Science and Technology Agency.
The first is a Mobile Taser Training Target (MTTT), which will begin a three-month trial next month. The manikin on wheels will replace the human role-player during Taser training, reducing the risk of injury.
Another bot, the Force-On-Robotic Target (Fort), will be used as part of the new Live Instrumentation Training System (Lits).
Lits makes use of laser in tactical training and will begin a three-month trial from December at the Home Team Academy in Choa Chu Kang.
Mr Shanmugam noted that MTTT and Lits will help sharpen the skills of officers and build their confidence in tactical response.
He said the SPF has to maintain high standards of operational excellence and protect its reputation.
"We must give our very best in fighting crime, protecting the public. And in doing so, we have to remain absolutely impartial in carrying out our duties, regardless of race, religion, wealth, social status, affiliation.
"We are confident that SPF will continue to keep Singapore safe and secure, for many more generations."