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Published: 06 Jun 2012 09:00AM
By Haikal Jamari

       

Riding on a partnership with the community to battle crime. That is an important element of the Singapore Police Force’s (SPF) new Community Policing System (COPS). The initiative was officially launched on 20 May 2012 by Mr S Iswaran, Minister in Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister for Home Affairs and Trade and Industry.

The official launch of the Community Policing System took place on 20 May 2012 at Tampines Avenue 2. PHOTO: Jessica Shen

Decked in Singapore Police Force (SPF) polo shirts and bermuda shorts, Police officers pedalled off on their bicycles with ‘Citizens-on-Patrol’ volunteers.

This was the official launch of the Community Policing System (COPS) at Tampines Avenue 2 on 20 May 2012.

COPS aims to bring police officers closer to the community through foot and bicycle patrols, as well as enhancing technological capabilities such as the use of police cameras.

Tampines Neighbourhood Police Centre (NPC) and Bukit Merah NPC are the first two NPCs to transit into the new COPS model.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner (DAC) How Kwang Hee, who is the Commander of the Bedok Police Division which looks after Tampines NPC said: “We hope to reach out more to the community and enhance police presence to raise the overall sense of safety and security in the neighborhood.”

"In addition to deterring crimes, COPS will also increase the alertness of the community."

With COPS, residents can expect to see more policemen on patrol in their neighbourhood.

The initiative also includes setting up a new Crime Strike Force which will allow police officers to be more familiar with the local terrain and be more effective in fighting localised crime.

As COPS officers will need to work even more closely with the community, training will be tailored to equip them with necessary attributes like good communication skills and the ability to relate well and engage with all members of the community.

The initiative sees the Police enhance their technological capabilities to solve crimes and one example is the use of security cameras.

By May 2012, security cameras had been installed in 38 public apartment buildings and two multi-storey car parks in Tampines.

All 10,000 public apartment buildings and multi-storey car parks across the island will adopt this feature by the end of 2016.

Security cameras have already proved useful in Tampines.

In 2011, Tampines NPC solved four cases with the help camera footage which identified crime suspects.

Another key feature of COPS is the strengthening of the Police-Community partnership, a concept that Tampines residents are no stranger to.

Currently, there are 124 'Citizens-on-Patrol' volunteers in the vicinity who help detect and report crimes.

In addition, public-spirited residents have been actively involved in programmes such as the bicycle rack project, which led to a fall in the number of bicycle thefts in the area.


Ms Erwani Suleiman, 37, was positive about the COPS initiative as he felt it was always good to have police presence in the community.

Ms Erwani, who works in a telecommunications company said: “It’ll make criminals think twice before they pounce on any victims as the community police may be around the corner.”

The Community Policing System sees ‘Citizens-on-Patrol’ volunteers and Singapore Police Force officers working together. PHOTO: Jessica Shen
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