All frontline cops to get secured smartphones that provide timely, relevant information on incidents

Security personnel patrolling at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre.
Security personnel patrolling at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE- All frontline police officers will be issued smartphones by the end of 2018 that provide them with timely and relevant information about the incidents they are responding to.

The police smartphones will be secured for Singapore Police Force (SPF)-specified apps, where information transmitted cannot be intercepted.

Issued as part of the Home Team's efforts to utilise technology and data to enhance the capabilities of its agencies, these phones will also function as normal phones.

"As officers are reaching a destination they can look at a variety of relevant data, and it will provide our officers with better situational awareness in responding to incidents," said Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam, at the Home Team Promotion Ceremony on Monday night (May 22), where 187 senior-ranking officers were promoted at the first of such ceremonies this year.

In total, more than 4,600 Home Team officers from agencies, like the Singapore Police Force (SPF), Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), Central Narcotics Bureau, Singapore Prison Service and the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA), will be promoted in the coming weeks.

This includes operationally-ready national servicemen from the SPF and the SCDF, and members of the Volunteer Special Constabulary.

Mr Shanmugam outlined some examples in the ongoing transformation within the Home Team which was announced in 2016 and targeted for completion by 2025.

Adding that the changes would tackle manpower constraints in particular, he gave an example of how the ICA has started using technology and data through the collection of iris images and multi-model biometrics at checkpoints.

ICA will also increase the number of automated clearance counters, he added.

Mr Shanmugam, who gave out certificates to the promoted officers, also highlighted other important areas in the transformation process, such as having joint operations and capabilities among agencies, and building community partnerships with stakeholders.

Among those mentioned were plans to co-locate officers from different agencies at the Police Operations Command Centre by the end of this year; and to step up partnership efforts with schools, parents and employers in preventive drug education and rehabilitation.

Addressing officers at the ceremony, Mr Shanmugam said: "As leaders in this change journey, you have the major responsibility to lead your teams and sustain momentum and morale for continuous improvement, and to prepare our officers and the Home Team to take on future challenges."