Parliament: 87% of public view police as world-class crime-fighting organisation, says survey

Policemen patrolling Changi Airport's Terminal 2 on Aug 8, 2015.
Policemen patrolling Changi Airport's Terminal 2 on Aug 8, 2015. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Singapore police force is a "world class crime-fighting organisation", said 87 per cent of respondents in a latest survey revealed by Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam.

Speaking in Parliament on Friday (March 3), he said the survey also showed that 90 per cent of respondents believe the police are ready to deal with any major law and order incident, and are well-prepared to respond to future security needs.

Meanwhile, 88 per cent of the 4,800 Singaporeans and Permanent Residents surveyed last year feel that the police provide a high quality of service.

Also, 92 per cent rated general safety and security in Singapore as "good" or "very good".

This reflects the extraordinary level of faith and trust Singaporeans have in the police force, he said.

"I have no doubts that the same goes for other HomeTeam departments," said Mr Shanmugam.

He also cited that the overall crime rate last year was the lowest in three years.

He attributed the results from the Public Perception Survey to an effective police force, heightened police presence and quick arrest of criminals, adding that almost half of the people surveyed said the installation of police cameras at housing estates made them feel safer.

A key factor is the the immense dedication and commitment of Home Team officers, he said.

Mr Shanmugam added these results of the survey, which were made known to him on Thursday, would put in context the general discussion on the public service.

On Wednesday, Nominated MP Kuik Shiao-Yin said more could be done for the working poor, while Mr Louis Ng (Nee Soon GRC) said he was concerned that the public service may lack heart in its pursuit of efficiency.

Ms Lee Bee Wah (Nee Soon GRC) made a similar point that public servants can guard their turf too jealously to the detriment of Singaporeans.

"This is a survey on the Police Force. But at a broader level, this also gives a perspective to discussions about the public service," he added.

Singapore is where it is today because of three key reasons: excellent political leadership, public service and the quality of our people - extremely capable, he said.

"If any one of these factors were absent, we would be in a very different position," he stressed.

He added that cases which arise due to issues such as structural reasons, like inter-agency issues, are the "exception, not the rule".

Mr Shanmugam is the latest minister to defend the public service.

On Thursday, two other ministers, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean and Senior Minister of State Desmond Lee, did so.

Mr Shanmugam, too, wrote a Facebook note to Home Team officers on Thursday, to acknowledge the long hours they worked and sacrifices they made.

He added in his speech on Friday: "In the large majority of cases, our public servants are outstanding, dedicated. They go beyond the call of duty and serve with heart."