A trip down memory lane

Back in the 1970s, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) used Volkswagen Beetle patrol cars. On Thursday, the SPF posted this photo of a row of the cars lined up outside the Police Radio Division at Pearl's Hill Lower Barracks, as part of a series commemorating 200 years of policing in Singapore.

The top floor of the Lower Barracks was used to house the Operations Room, where radio links with police vehicles, launches and divisional headquarters were maintained. For years, it was from Pearl's Hill that police response to public calls and emergencies was coordinated.

In the early 1970s, the Police Radio Division used Volkswagen Beetles to patrol neighbourhoods and commercial districts.

The patrol cars were also dispatched to respond to incidents or crime scenes. Being accessible only from the front, the Beetle's design made it difficult for suspects who were seated at the back to escape from the vehicle.

Although the Volkswagen Beetles were decommissioned in 1982 and never seen on the streets again, they remain a cherished part of the SPF's history.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 23, 2020, with the headline 'A trip down memory lane'. Print Edition | Subscribe