Singapore police to get new cameras, drones, guns and training bots

SINGAPORE – The Singapore Police Force (SPF) will be getting more tech in the coming months to help them with front-line policing, training, surveillance and community outreach.

The rollout will include more police cameras, drones and training bots being deployed.

Unveiling this during the annual Police Workplan Seminar on Tuesday (June 22), the SPF said that more than 90,000 PolCams have already been installed, and have been used to solve more than 5,000 cases.

But they intend to install even more cameras at new housing blocks, hawker centres and transport nodes.

The cameras installed at town and neighbourhood centres will also be equipped with video analytic capabilities, allowing sudden crowds and violent behaviour to be detected automatically.

The SPF also intend to deploy more remote drones, which were trialled in industrial estates in western Singapore last year.

These drones are expected to be used for surveillance, patrols and remote viewing of incidents as they happen.

Police officers will also be getting new guns and body-worn cameras.

The Taurus M85 revolver used by the officers will be replaced by the Glock 19 Gen 5 pistol, which carries three times more rounds.

All front-line regulars will be trained to use the new weapon by end 2023.

Their body-worn cameras will be replaced with a newer version that has an increased battery life of 13 hours, compared to the current 2.5 hours.

The camera’s other features include recording in full HD, live streaming of video and audio to the Police Operations Command Centre, and remote wiping of data.

This will be rolled out by the end of this year.

As for police trainees, they may soon get to work with two new remote-controlled bots developed with the Home Team Science and Technology Agency (HTX).

The first is a Mobile Taser Training Target (MTTT), which will begin a three-month trial from next month. The manikin on wheels will replace the role player during Taser training, reducing the risk of injury.

Police officer trainees enact a scene of dispute witH a Mobile Taser Training Target on June 18, 2021. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

The bot will also be able to improve training evaluations, as it is equipped with an analysis system to determine where the Taser probes land and how far apart they are.

The second bot is the Force-On-Robotic Target (Fort) used as part of the new Live Instrumentation Training System (Lits).

Lits introduces a laser system for tactical training, and will begin a three-month trial from December to March next year at the Home Team Academy.

The Fort is also a manikin on wheels, but is additionally equipped with a laser system that detects how fast and accurately shots are fired at it.

 Police officer trainees demonstrate tactical movement against a Force-On-Robotic Target on June 18, 2021. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

This can then be used to evaluate and improve the tactical skills of trainees.

In his speech to the SPF during the Police Workplan Seminar, Minister for Home Affairs and Law K. Shanmugam praised the force for their commitment during the pandemic.

He noted in particular how MTTT and Lits will help sharpen the skills of officers and build their confidence in tactical response.

“We will continue to help officers deepen their expertise, to deal with the new security challenges,” he said.

“I take this opportunity to thank all SPF officers, past and present, for your sacrifices and commitment. We are confident that SPF will continue to keep Singapore safe and secure, for many more generations.”

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