Remaining vigilant against the threat of terrorism, enhancing the public’s trust and relationship with the Singapore Police Force (SPF) and continuing to recognise the actions of Police National Servicemen (PNSmen) were among the key messages of the SPF Workplan Seminar 2017 held on 7 April 2017.
|The Workplan Seminar was attended by about 1000 guests, including police officers and other guests. PHOTO: Mabel Yap|
In order to ensure robust emergency response in the event of a terror attack, the SPF has begun training and equipping its frontline officers with pistols. The increased firepower and ammunition of the newly-implemented pistols will work towards increasing the patrol officers’ confidence in dealing with armed attackers.
The SPF also seeks to equip select Police Coast Guard (PCG) frontline officers with counter-assault skills, as well as sub-machine guns and carbines, allowing them to better respond to armed attacks. Known as the Emergency Response Force (ERF), these officers will begin patrolling Singapore’s waters by June 2017.
The SPF is also looking to bolster its surveillance capabilities. Under the “PolCam 2.0” initiative, the SPF will expand the installation of Police cameras to public areas in town and neighbourhood centres, hawker centres and link ways. In total, around 11,000 more cameras will be installed over the coming years.
During his keynote address, Guest-of- Honour Minister of Home Affairs and Law Mr K Shanmugam emphasised a need to bolster community preparedness and resilience in the face of a crisis.
“Enforcement challenges in the region continue to be high and Singapore has to be prepared to respond in the event of a crisis,” Mr Shanmugam said.
Minister of Home Affairs and Law Mr K Shanmugam giving his keynote address during the seminar. PHOTO: Mabel Yap
Mr Shanmugam’s statement was echoed by Professor David Chan, Director of the Behavioural Sciences Institute at Singapore Management University (SMU), who urged members of the public to remain vigilant and alert to possible terror threats.
“What is important is not only for the authorities to maximise and optimally deploy their resources. The community must play our part to keep Singapore safe,” said Professor Chan, who was speaking as member of a panel discussion titled “Not If, But When”.
The panel also included a sharing by Ms Betty Ong, a survivor of the 2015 Erawan Shrine bombing in Bangkok.
“After the incident, I have become far more alert. I look out for suspicious people and items, and always keep a close eye on my surroundings when I am in crowded areas,” said Ms Ong.
Adding to Ms Ong’s view was the third and final speaker on the panel, Mr Shaik Mohd Bin M K Mohideen, a Citizens on Patrol Volunteer. Mr Shaik reiterated that all Singaporeans should remain vigilant and determined in order to do their part to keep Singapore safe.
|Panel speakers Ms Betty Ong (second from left), Mr Shaik Mohd Bin M K Mohideen (fourth from left) and Professor David Chan (first from right). Pictured with them is Commissioner of Police Mr Hoong Wee Teck (middle). PHOTO: Mabel Yap|
Mr Shanmugam also acknowledged the dedicated service of the generations of PNSmen who have served and continue to serve the SPF. He further announced the formation of the PNSmen Public Order (PO) Troops under the Special Operations Command (SOC).
These troops will be recalled for training and anti-crime patrols, among other duties, so as to provide greater support for the SPF during national emergencies and major events.