Community policing rolled out at all neighbourhood police centres

The men in blue will be popping up in your neighbourhood more often.

As part of a community policing system rolled out islandwide, police officers and volunteers are pounding the beat more frequently, and more CCTV cameras have been installed in Housing Board estates. The Community Policing System (Cops), launched in 2012, has been introduced at all 35 neighbourhood police centres.

Yesterday, a community event in Marine Parade was organised by the police to mark the full roll-out of the scheme.

Assistant Commissioner (AC) of Police Alvin Moh told reporters yesterday that CCTV cameras had been installed in more than 4,400 HDB blocks and carparks.

The police are on track to install such cameras in all 10,000 HDB blocks and carparks by the end of next year, he added. "The police will continue to work hard to build on our foundation of trust with the community," said AC Moh, who is commander of the Bedok Police Division.

Said grassroots leader David Siow, 47, an engineer who has been doing patrols around Marine Crescent Gardens for 15 years: "There are fewer loan-shark harassment cases in my neighbourhood. I think this is because of the frequent patrols by volunteers and police officers."

Yesterday's event was attended by Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, who spoke about the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew's contributions to the police force. Mr Lee, Singapore's first prime minister, died at the age of 91 on March 23.

Mr Goh said the Cops scheme strived to build on Mr Lee's belief that the police must maintain close ties with the community. "Mr Lee suggested that the police should be part of the community," said Mr Goh, who is an MP for Marine Parade GRC. "They should be out walking around, befriending community members and getting support from the community."

Mr Lee also helped establish a high-quality police force by launching the police scholars scheme and ensuring that officers received competitive salaries, Mr Goh added.

"(Mr Lee said) if police officers were paid much less than the market (rate)... we would not be able to attract good-quality people. If we did, they wouldn't stay long," he said.

At yesterday's event, community partners, including students and grassroots leaders, were given plaques to recognise their crime-prevention efforts.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.