Police officers to don new uniform that handles the heat and humidity better

Made of 98 per cent polyester and 2 per cent spandex, the new police uniform dries faster and has better sweat absorption capabilities.
Made of 98 per cent polyester and 2 per cent spandex, the new police uniform dries faster and has better sweat absorption capabilities.ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID
Old uniform worn by police officers in Singapore in the past.
Old uniform worn by police officers in Singapore in the past.ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID
Old uniform worn by police officers in Singapore in the past.
Old uniform worn by police officers in Singapore in the past.ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID
Old uniform worn by police officers in Singapore in the past.
Old uniform worn by police officers in Singapore in the past. ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID
Old uniform worn by police officers in Singapore in the past.
Old uniform worn by police officers in Singapore in the past. ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

SINGAPORE - They will still be the officers in blue, but from next Monday (April 16) all Singapore Police Force (SPF) ground officers will don uniforms made of a new fabric designed to better deal with the heat and humidity.

Made of 98 per cent polyester and 2 per cent spandex, it dries faster and has better sweat absorption capabilities.

The new uniform - to be worn by police national servicemen and voluntary special constables as well - includes hidden plastic buttons in place of the metallic buttons on the current uniforms.

The hidden buttons make it more comfortable for officers to wear body vests over their new uniforms. The word "POLICE" is embroidered on the right chest of the uniform.

The design and fabric changes came after discussions with the Ministry of Home Affairs' Office of the Chief Science and Technology Officer, and were made for "improved breathability, comfort and lightness".

"This is part of SPF's capability and equipment enhancement programme. The changes to the uniforms will enable our officers to operate more effectively and comfortably in local humidity," said a police spokesman.

This is the first uniform revamp for the police force since 1985.

The new uniform has two iterations - a long sleeved version, to be worn by specialist units, and a short sleeved one, which will be donned by ground response forces.

The design actually went through two test runs.

The first trial in 2013 involved front-line police officers performing foot patrols and driving patrol cars while dressed in the new uniform.

Their body temperature was then analysed to compare heat dissipation between the old all-polyester uniform and the new ones.

Officers decked in the new shirts were found to have 1 deg C lower body temperature than officers wearing the old shirts. The officers's feedback was that the new shirts were cooler, lighter, and less stiff.

But the new trousers did not fare so well with officers, recording a higher body temperature of about 0.5 deg C.

To resolve this, extra front pockets and knee pads were removed from the design.

The second trial in 2015 surveyed 54 officers from the Ang Mo Kio North Neighbourhood Police Centre.

Their responses confirmed that the new uniform was more suited for Singapore's hot and humid climate, said police.