Police division HQ opens in Woodlands

Self-help kiosks (above) are among the new features and systems at the Woodlands Police Divisional headquarters (left).
Self-help kiosks (above) are among the new features and systems at the Woodlands Police Divisional headquarters.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
Self-help kiosks (above) are among the new features and systems at the Woodlands Police Divisional headquarters (left).
Self-help kiosks are among the new features and systems at the Woodlands Police Divisional headquarters (above).ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

Visitors can expect shorter waiting times, more privacy and comfort at new facility

Residents living in the northern part of Singapore can expect shorter waiting times as well as more privacy and comfort when they visit the newly launched Woodlands Police Divisional headquarters.

Officers from the division will also be able to attend to cases faster, and travel shorter distances to get to crime scenes.

Speaking at the opening of the facility yesterday, Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam said: "Members of the public will no longer have to travel to the division headquarters in Jurong or Ang Mo Kio to meet the investigation officers for updates in their cases."

He added that the new systems at the headquarters will be later introduced at other Neighbourhood Police Centres (NPC) and police posts.

Mr Shanmugam said there is a new system that will screen all police databases, instead of separately screening one database at a time.

He said: "Screening can take five minutes now, compared with 20 minutes in the past."

To speed up things for visitors, they will be filtered to various channels based on the purpose of their visit, which could halve the time they spend there.

The 10-storey building in Woodlands Street 12 also has features like self-help kiosks and an automated drop box for lost and found items. The drop box will allow users to easily register and hand over items they find without having to meet an officer to make a report.

At the Woodlands West NPC located within the building, front-line counters have been redesigned. For instance, people can meet officers in private glass rooms instead of talking at an open counter.

The aim is to provide more privacy and comfort for members of the public, Mr Shanmugam said.

Woodlands Police Division is the seventh land division in Singapore, and started operations on Nov 25 last year.

The division's commander, Deputy Assistant Commissioner of Police (DAC) Leon Chan, was officially appointed yesterday in a ceremony at the facility.

DAC Chan said the biggest challenge in setting up a new police division was the human element. "We took over areas that were from Ang Mo Kio Police Division and Jurong Police Division, so we had to bring in two different kinds of practices to work together," he said.

The new division took over three NPCs from Ang Mo Kio Police Division, and two from Jurong Police Division, along with the policing functions of the Tuas and Woodlands checkpoints.

The division also tried to ensure a good mix of new and experienced officers. Said DAC Chan: "We handpicked quite a lot of officers who did lateral postings, not just from Ang Mo Kio and Jurong police divisions, but from all across the police force."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 13, 2019, with the headline 'Police division HQ opens in Woodlands'. Print Edition | Subscribe