|Motto||Setia dan Bakti|
(Loyalty and Service)
|Headquarters||28 Irrawaddy Road, New Phoenix Park, Singapore 329560|
|Elected officers responsible|
|Parent agency||Ministry of Home Affairs|
|Specialist & Line units|
The organisational structure of the SPF is split between the staff and line functions, roughly modelled after the military. There are currently sixteen staff departments, four specialist staff departments, and eighteen specialist and line units, including seven land divisions. The headquarters is located in a block at New Phoenix Park in Novena, adjacent to a twin block occupied by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
This section needs expansion with: history after 1900 and post-independence Singapore. You can help by adding to it. (November 2020)
The Singapore Police Force is as old as modern Singapore. The Force was formed in 1820, with a skeleton force of 11 men under the command of Francis James Bernard, son-in-law of William Farquhar. With no background nor knowledge on policing, Bernard had to work from scratch, as well as occasionally turning to Farquhar for help. In addition, he held multiple roles as magistrate, chief jailer, harbour master, marine storekeeper, as well as personal assistants to Farquhar. Farquhar informed Raffles that he had provisionally introduced licenses for opium and alcohol sales that would raise $650 per month, with $300 of this sum being used to run a small police department.
As the department took form, Bernard became in charge of a Malay writer, one jailor, one jemadar (sergeant) and eight peada (constables) by May 1820. Raffles approved these arrangements by August 1820 and cemented the formal establishment of a police force in Singapore. Manpower constraints meant that the men had to perform a wide range of roles, and required the help of headmen among the various ethnic communities to maintain orderliness on the streets, all the more possible as the communities lived in segregated areas around the city.
This partnership with the community was in line with Sir Stamford Raffles' vision of a thriving colony largely self-regulated by local social structures, with the British masters administrating it via indirect rule. The large influx of migrants from China, however, began to test this system when the hands-off approach by the British allowed secret societies in Singapore to thrive. Although originally formed with legal intentions of community bonding and the provision of assistance to fellow migrants, these societies gradually became influential, competitive, and increasingly engaged in illegal activity including monetary extortion from the masses, the operation of gambling dens and the smuggling of illegal goods on top of more legal commercial operations to meet their financial needs.
Competition gradually heated up between large rival factions, such as that between the larger Ghee Hin Kongsi, the Ghee Hock Kongsi and the Hai San Kongsi. Murders, mass riots, kidnappings, arson, and other serious crimes became commonplace in the next four decades since the colony's founding. Faced with violent acts of crime which may involve thousands, such as the Chinese Funeral Procession Riots of 1846 involving 9,000 members from the Ghee Hin and Ghee Hock secret societies, the police force was woefully incapable of bringing the situation under control and often had to call in the army for assistance. The escalating number of serious crimes prompted the need for stronger legislation to deter would-be criminals. Singapore's first executions were thus held in the wake of the first criminal session in June 1828, when a Chinese and Indian were found guilty and convicted for murder.
Headed by Europeans and predominantly staffed by Malay and Indian officers, the force had little Chinese representation as to the military and policing professionals were traditionally shunned by the Chinese community, which therefore impaired policing efforts among the large Chinese populace. In 1843, the force comprised a sitting magistrate doubling up as a superintendent, three European constables and an assistant native constable, 14 officers and 110 policemen. With a total strength of no more than 150 men, the police were compelled to avoid direct intervention in these mass acts of violence, else risking almost total annihilation.
A repeat of this scenario occurred in 1851 when lingering displeasure against Roman Catholic ethnic Chinese erupted into major rioting leaving over 500 Chinese dead. The army was called in again, although it involved having to induct Indian convicts into military service almost overnight. In 1854, twelve consecutive days of violence sparked by a dispute between the Hokkiens and Teochews disrupted trade. This particular incident led to the formation of the military's Singapore Rifle Corps on 8 July 1854, the earliest predecessor of the Singapore Armed Forces' People's Defence Force today.
However, criminal violence was not merely in the domain of the ethnic Chinese. Rivalries between Malay princes and communities also often result in acts of violence, which prompted the passing of Singapore's first arms law in March 1823 restricting the right to bear arms to 24 of the Malay Sultan's followers. Nearly two centuries later, these anti-arms laws continue to be strictly enforced, resulting in a society relatively free from firearms-related criminal offences.
The murder rate in Singapore is reportedly low.
|Rank and appointment||Abbreviation||Office holder|
|Commissioner of Police||CP||Hoong Wee Teck|
|Deputy Commissioner of Police (Policy)||DC(P)||Jerry See Buck Thye|
|Deputy Commissioner of Police (Investigations & Intelligence)]]||DC(I&I)||Florence Chua|
|Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations)||DC(Ops)||Tan Hung Hooi|
|Department||Abbreviation||Area of responsibility||Ref|
|Administration & Finance Department||A&F||Administrative, finance and procurement services|||
|Centre for Protective Security||CPS||Training and maintenance of protective security standards|||
|Community Partnership Department||CPD||Community engagement and crime prevention|||
|Inspectorate and Compliance Office||InCo||Internal audit and risk management|||
|Internal Affairs Office||IAO||Handling of internal investigations|||
|International Cooperation Department||ICD||Maintenance of relations with foreign law enforcement agencies as well as handling transnational and international police operations|||
|Manpower Department||MPD||Human resource management and recruitment programmes|||
|Operations Department||OPD||Responsible for operational matters including the development of doctrines and standard operating procedures; oversees the Police Operations Command Centre|||
|Planning and Organisation Department||P&O||Strategic planning and organisational development|||
|Police Licensing and Regulatory Department||PLRD||Processing and enforcement of various police licenses|||
|Police Logistics Department||PLD||Procurement, distribution and maintenance of equipment|||
|Police National Service Department||PNSD||Human resource management of Police National Servicemen|||
|Public Affairs Department||PAD||Public relations and media relations|||
|Service Delivery Department||SDD||Handling of public feedback and service quality affairs|||
|Training & Capability Development Department||TCDD||Development of training policy, methodologies and training safety|||
|Volunteer Special Constabulary||VSC||Human resource management of volunteer police officers|||
|Department||Abbreviation||Area of responsibility||Ref|
|Commercial Affairs Department||CAD||Detection and investigation of financial crime|||
|Criminal Investigation Department||CID||Primary detective agency and investigative body|||
|Ops-Tech Department||OTD||Development of Science & Technology|||
|Police Intelligence Department||PID||Gathering and processing of police intelligence|||
|Units||Abbreviation||Area of responsibility||Ref|
|Ang Mo Kio Police Division||'F' Division||Ang Mo Kio, Serangoon, Hougang, Sengkang, Punggol, Seletar|
|Bedok Police Division||'G' Division||Changi, Pasir Ris, Tampines, Bedok, Paya Lebar, Marine Parade, Marina East, Geylang|
|Central Police Division||'A' Division||Downtown Core, Museum, Marina South, Straits View, Rochor, Kallang|
|Clementi Police Division||'D' Division||Clementi, Queenstown, Jurong East|
|Jurong Police Division||'J' Division||Jurong West, Choa Chu Kang, Bukit Panjang, Bukit Batok, Boon Lay, Pioneer, Tuas|
|Tanglin Police Division||'E' Division||Bukit Merah, Bukit Timah, River Valley, Tanglin, Orchard, Novena, Toa Payoh, Bishan|
|Woodlands Police Division||'L' Division||Yishun, Sembawang, Woodlands, Mandai, Kranji|
|Airport Police Division||APD||Changi Airport, Seletar Airport, Changi Airfreight Centre, Airport Logistics Park|
|Gurkha Contingent||GC||Protection of VIPs during key events|||
|Home Team School of Criminal Investigation||HTSCI|
|Police Coast Guard||PCG||Protecting Singapore's territorial waters|
|Police Operations Command Centre||POCC||Overseeing of day-to-day operations|||
|Public Transport Security Command||TRANSCOM||Protecting the public transport network|
|Protective Security Command||ProCom||Protection of key installations and security at key national events|||
|Police Security Command||SecCom||Security and protection of VIPs/foreign dignitaries|
|Special Operations Command||SOC||Tactical Unit/Riot Control/Hostage Rescue/K-9 Unit|
|Traffic Police||TP||Enforcement of traffic laws|
|Training Command||TRACOM||Training of police officers and involved in parades|
Land divisions are given designations according to the NATO phonetic alphabet.
Defunct land divisions include:
The Singapore Police Force receives the highest budget allocation annually as compared to the various departments of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), typically accounting for about 50% of its annual budget. For the fiscal year of 2013 (for the year beginning 1 April 2013), S$3.89 billion was budgeted to the MHA, of which 47.8% or S$1.86 billion was allocated for the Police Programme. Actual expenses in the 2013 fiscal year were S$2.04 billion, of which S$1.88 billion was spent on operating expenditure (against the budgeted S$1.79 billion) and S$159.1 million on development expenditure (budgeted at $71.83 million). Manpower costs amounting to S$1.16 billion continue to dominate the SPF's expenditure, accounting for 61.7% of its operating expenditure and 56.9% of total expenditure in FY2013.
|Fiscal Year||Operating Expenditure||Development Expenditure||Total Expenditure||Refs|
|2014||S$1,369.52 (est)||S$804.20 (est)||S$2,172.72 (est)||S$1,932.98||S$269.41 (est)||S$205.49||S$2,442.13 (est)||S$2,138.47|||
The latest budget for fiscal year 2015, S$2.47 billion was allocated to the Police Programme, or 49.5% of MHA's total budget of S$5 billion (the Ministry of Defence, in comparison, received a S$13.12 billion budget allocation). This includes S$2.26 billion for Operating Expenditure and $210.93 million for Development Expenditure. The main Development Expenditures expected in FY2015 included the construction of new buildings such as the Woodlands Police Divisional HQ as well as the acquisition of new patrol craft for the Police Coast Guard and the installation of police cameras at more HDB blocks and multi-storey car parks.
As of 31 March 2018, the total strength of the force stands at 44,484, of which 15,989 are full-time staff. Manpower trends in recent years are as follows:
|31 March 2007||7,826||1,206||3,464||20,852||1,049||34,397|||
|31 March 2012||8,469||1,262||4,722||unknown||1,146||unknown|||
|31 March 2013||8,617||1,423||4,853||24,248||1,212||40,353|||
|31 March 2014||8,783||1,544||4,704||25,492||1,076||41,599|||
|31 March 2017||9,617||1,593||5,043||27,839||1,084||45,176|||
|31 March 2018||9,591||1,632||4,766||27,245||1,250||44,484|||
Regulars, or uniformed, full-time officers, constitute about 20% of the police's total workforce and number approximately 9,000 in strength. Basic entry requirements for police officers include normal fitness levels, good eyesight, and at least five passes in the GCE Ordinary level or a NITEC from the Institute of Technical Education, although those with lower qualifications may still be considered. Those joining the senior police officers require a basic degree from a recognised university. Alternatively, police officers from the junior ranks may also be considered for promotion into the senior ranks. Officers serving in the force as national servicemen are also regularly considered for absorption into the regular scheme. Basic training for all officers are conducted at the Home Team Academy, under the purview of the Police Training Command. It takes about six months and nine months to train a new police officer and senior police officer respectively.
As is the case with many other civil service positions in Singapore, the salaries of police officers are reviewed in accordance to market rates. Salaries are kept competitive as part of anti-corruption measures. Gross starting salaries for police officers may range from S$1,820 to S$2,480, and that of senior police officers from S$3,400 to S$4,770, depending on entry qualifications, relevant/useful work experiences and National Service.
Police officers commence their careers as Sergeants (Full GCE 'A' level or Diploma holders), while senior police officers start as Inspectors (Bachelor's degree). Reviews of an officer's performance for promotion consideration are conducted annually.
When full-time National Service (NS) was first introduced in Singapore in 1967, it was initially solely aimed and geared towards the building-up of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF). Meanwhile, in Singapore Police Force, NS was not extended to that of compulsory full-time service, with police NS being only part-time, unlike that of the SAF. There was little urgency and pressure for the police force to increase its overall manpower-strength until the Laju incident of 1974, Singapore's first encounter with international terrorism, demonstrated the need for additionally trained reserve-officers who could be called up at short-notice in the event of a national crisis or a major and serious public emergency. Singapore's full-time National Service policy was thus extended to the Singapore Police Force in 1975, which stemmed from the then-primary aim of guarding and protecting key and vital public installations, such as sensitive ones like power substations and petrochemical industries, and to act as a swift-response reserve unit. Subsequent expansion of this NS scheme, along with changing security needs and requirements and the trend in outsourcing key-installation protection (such as to the various local auxiliary police forces) has expanded the role of police national servicemen to more varied functions, which may range from mainstream administration and operations (such as the role of Staff Assistants (SAs) based in offices), to basic police investigation (like the Ground Response Force (GRF) of the SPF's Land Divisions) and front line policing (as seen in the Police Coast Guard), alongside their regular counterparts.
Formed in 1946, The Volunteer Special Constabulary (VSC) is an important component of the Singapore Police Force, contributing more than fifty years of volunteer service to the nation.
The VSC is composed of volunteers from all walks of life in Singapore, from businessmen to blue-collar executives to even bus captains, bonded with the same aspiration to serve the nation by complementing the Singapore Police Force. They are vested with equal powers of a police officer to enforce law and order in Singapore. VSC Officers don the same police uniform and patrol the streets, participate in anti-drug operations and sometimes even high-speed sea chases.
Civilian staff in the Police Force are deployed in areas such as technology, logistics, human resource, and administrative and financial services as well as investigation, planning and intelligence. The civilian staff schemes fall under the general civil service schemes managed by the Public Service Division. These schemes include:
The civilization of non-core police functions has accelerated over the years in order to free up additional manpower for redeployment into Police Divisions. Other changes include the deployment of contract staff through organisations such as Ministry of Finance's VITAL.org for administrative staff and partners such as Singapore Technologies and Cyber Security Agency for technical support.
Dark blue is the organisational colour of the Singapore Police Force, and has remained so continuously since 1969. Derivatives of the standard blue uniform (collectively called the No. 3 uniform) was adopted for specialized forces and for all officers in various occasions which calls for more formal or casual attire.
The Traffic Police Department adopted a short-sleeved white tunic, dark blue breeches, a black leather Sam Browne belt, and riding boots for its officers performing mobile squad duties. A white crash helmet is worn when on the move, while a new dark blue jockey cap with chequered white and dark blue patterns around its circumference is worn when convenient while performing static duty. Members of the Vigilante Corps are also attired by a white short-sleeved top similar in design to the dark blue version for normal officers, gold-coloured buttons and badges, and a dark blue beret in place of the peak cap.
Combat uniforms have also been adopted for specialist units such as those from the Special Operations Command and the Police Coast Guard (PCG), collectively known as the No. 4 uniforms. These involve the replacement of metal buttons with sewn-on plastic ones, the avoidance of all other metallic accruements which are deemed potentially hazardous to the officer or to others and the use of long-sleeved shirts.
On 16 April 2018, the SPF introduced new uniforms made of 98% polyester and 2% spandex with better stretchable, perspiration absorption, and faster drying characteristics, as "part of ongoing efforts to improve officers' operational effectiveness and support them in their work". The word "police" is embroidered above the name tag of the new uniforms and the metallic buttons replaced with concealed plastic buttons for better comfort to allow officers put on the body vests over their uniforms. Riveted buttons are also fixed on the shoulders to allow the attachment of a body worn camera.
The following rank structure is used throughout the police force:
|Rank||Commissioner of Police (CP)||Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP)||Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police (SAC)||Assistant Commissioner of Police (AC)||Deputy Assistant Commissioner of Police (DAC)||Superintendent of Police (SUPT)||Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP)|
|Rank||Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP)||Inspector (INSP)||Station Inspector (SI)||Senior Staff Sergeant (SSS)||Sergeant (SGT)||Corporal (CPL)||Constable (PC/SC)|
The rank of corporal (CPL) was abolished in 1972, but reinstated in 1976. In 1997, the location of all rank devices was shifted from the sleeves to the shoulder epaulets except for the Gurkha Contingent. Also in the same year, the station inspector rank insignia was changed from collar pips to a coat of arms of Singapore with upward-pointing chevrons above and an arc below, a design similar to that of the warrant officers of the Singapore Armed Forces, while the rank of senior station inspector (SSI) was also introduced. In 1998, the senior station inspector (2) (SSI(2)) rank was introduced, and changes were made to the SI, SSI, and SSI(2) rank designs. The rank of lance corporal was abolished in 2002. In 2006, the Gurkha Contingent adopted embroidered ranks as part of an overhaul of its combat dress, but are worn on the right chest pocket.
In July 2016, a revamped rank overhaul was done with the retirement of the ranks of staff sergeant, senior station inspector (1) and senior station inspector (2), as well as the abolishment of the separation line between junior officers and senior officers, to unify a unified rank-scheme. In addition, the sergeant rank has three different grades noted by a number from 1 to 3 placed in parentheses and suffixed to the rank abbreviation; namely, SGT(1), SGT(2), and SGT(3).
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Police officers in the various divisions are armed when conducting regular uniformed patrols and plainclothes duties. Officers from different units are issued with different weapons.
The five-shot .38 Taurus Model 85 with 3-inch barrel featuring a laser sight by Crimson Trace is the standard issued sidearm of the Singapore Police Force with 10 rounds of ammunition. In 2015, the SPF purchased a number of CZ P-07 semi-automatic pistols. From 2016, selected officers were issued with the pistols as a trial. In 2019, it was announced that the Glock 19 was chosen as a replacement to the Taurus revolver. In addition to the use of the handguns, the police also use the Heckler & Koch MP5 sub-machine gun and the Remington 870 shotgun.
Extendable batons were initially used by specialist units such as Security Command and Special Operations Command, however, it has since been used by officers from other front-line units, replacing the Monadnock PR-21 side-handle baton. Sabre Red pepper spray canisters are exclusively equipped to the officers of Police Coast Guard and Police Tactical Unit. A pair of handcuffs is issued to the officers as restraints.
The Taser X26E stun gun was procured in the late 2000s and is part of the officers' equipment, which provides another non-lethal means of subduing suspects. Despite safety concerns due to incidents experienced by foreign police forces, the weapon was deemed suitable for use by trained personnel, and was rolled out across other NPCs. In 2018, the Taser X26E was replaced with the X26P model.
|CZ P-07 Series||CZ P-07||9x19mm Parabellum||Czechoslovakia||On limited trial.|
|Glock||Glock 19||9x19mm Parabellum||Austria||Used by officers tasked in UN peacekeeping and Police Coast Guard roles. Will replace the Taurus revolver used by other frontline units.|
|Heckler & Koch USP||H&K USP Compact||9x19mm Parabellum||Germany||Used by Police Special Operations Command|
|Sphinx 3000||Sphinx 3000||9×19mm Parabellum||Switzerland||Used by units of the Police Special Operations Command|
|Taurus Model 85||Model 85||.38 Special||Brazil||Will be phased out.|||
|Remington 870||870 MCS
870 Police Magnum
|12 gauge||USA||Used by Gurkha Contingent and Police Special Operations Command,|
|Benelli M3||12 gauge||Italy||Used by Police Coast Guard Special Task Squadron.|
|Heckler & Koch MP5||MP5A3
|9x19mm Parabellum||Germany||Standard sub-machine gun used by Protective Security Command, Gurkha Contingent and all units of the Police Special Operations Command.|
|FN SCAR||FN MK 16 CQC
FN MK 16 LB
|5.56×45mm NATO||Belgium||Standard assault rifle used by Gurkha Contingent and units of the Police Special Operations Command, such as STAR unit and PTU.|
|Colt M4 Advanced Piston Carbine||Colt LE6940P||5.56×45mm NATO||USA||Used by Police Coast Guard Special Task Squadron and Emergency Response Team.|
|5.56×45mm NATO||USA||Used by Gurkha Contingent and Emergency Response Teams. Also used as a ceremonial rifle.|
|M16S1||M16S1||5.56×45mm NATO||USA/ Singapore||Used by Gurkha Contingent and Emergency Response Teams. Also used as a ceremonial rifle with a bayonet attached.|
|FN MAG||STK MAG 60.20||7.62×51mm NATO||Belgium||Used by the Gurkha Contingent and Police Coast Guard. Mounted on PCG boats.|
|FN Minimi||Minimi Para||5.56×45mm NATO||Belgium||Used by Gurkha Contingent.|
|STK 50MG||STK 50MG||.50 BMG||Singapore||Used by PCG. Mounted on STK ADDER RCWS onboard Patrol Interdiction Boats and other PCG boats.|
|M2 Browning||FN M2HB-QCB||.50 BMG||USA||Used by PCG. Mounted on STK ADDER RCWS onboard Patrol Interdiction Boats.|
|Accuracy International Arctic Warfare||Arctic Warfare Police||7.62×51mm NATO||UK||Used by STAR and Gurkha Contingent snipers.|
|Heckler & Koch HK69A1||HK69A1||40 mm grenade||Germany||Used by Police Tactical Unit of the Police Special Operations Command.|
|M242 Bushmaster||Mk 38 Mod 2||25 mm caliber||USA||Used by the Police Coast Guard. Mounted on the Typhoon Weapon Station onboard PCG boats.|
|20mm Oerlikon||20mm caliber||Switzerland||Used by the Police Coast Guard. Mounted onboard PCG boats.|
|TASER X26||X26P||Electrodes||USA||Use by all units of the police.|
|Pepperball VKS||USA||Used by Police Tactical Unit of the Police Special Operations Command|
In 2009, the SPF introduced Forward Command Vehicles. These were replaced in 2017 by Division Command Vehicles with greater mobility designed to enhance command, control and coordination. In addition, the SPF introduced new unmanned aerial vehicles with red and blue siren lights, a searchlight, a high-definition camera and an audio warning system. The UAVs are controlled by two-man teams (consisting of a pilot and a safety officer) and are designed to conduct search and rescue operations, attending public order incidents, traffic management, hostage situations and crowd monitoring.
Police from the Community Policing Units may also patrol in residential neighbourhoods on bicycles. At the 2007 Singapore National Day Parade, the Singapore Police Force unveiled a Tenix S600 APC (Armored Personnel Carrier) had been purchased for its operations for the Special Operations Command, and in NDP 2015, the Achleitner HMV Survivor and the Gurkha MPV by Terradyne Armored Vehicles Inc was unveiled.
The various specialist units may also make use of other specialised equipment specific to their scope of duty
Other vehicles used by the various units include:
Fast Response Car Hyundai Elantra in use by the SPF
Police officers are governed by the Police Force Act (Chapter 235) and its Police Regulations (Chapter 235, Section 28 and 117) of the Singapore Statutes. The disciplinary offences can be found in its schedule.Misfeasance and malfeasance such as blue wall of silence, conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline, corruption, misconduct and malicious prosecution are referred to the Internal Affairs Office (IAO). The Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) can be consulted to advise the police on its disciplinary proceedings. Police officers can whistleblow their colleagues' official misconducts and wrongdoings by filing official police reports themselves to officially open investigation papers against lawless officers of the law. Full-time police national servicemen are also subjected to the Police (Special Constabulary) Regulations (Chapter 235, Section 85).
SPF HQ spokesperson routinely issues official statements stating that its officers are not only expected to uphold the law, but also to maintain the highest standards of conduct and integrity. The spokesperson added that SPF deals severely with officers who break the law, including charging them in court. Also, SPF usually commence disciplinary proceedings against the officers involved, and as well as suspend them pending internal investigations.
In March 1976, one of Singapore's top prominent senior lawyers, the late Subhas Anandan, was arrested by a corrupted policeman for suspected involvement in a secret society under the Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act. He was remanded without trial in a prison for a few months. Subhas was exonerated and acquitted in November of the same year, following an investigation probe by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau.
On 10 July 2013, ex-policeman Senior Staff Sergeant Iskandar Rahmat -- a 14-year veteran award-winning investigation officer -- killed a car workshop owner and the man's son, and has since been on the death row from 2017 onward, after failing in his appeal and president clemency against the death sentence. The case was known as the Kovan double murders in Singapore media.
Through the Media Communication Division of the Public Affairs Department, SPF has collaborated with the media industry to produce content that supports and promote the mission and brand of the organisation.