Almost 90,000 police cameras installed in Singapore, 'many more to come': Shanmugam

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A police camera in Singapore. (Yahoo file photo)
A police camera in Singapore. (Yahoo News Singapore file photo)

SINGAPORE — Almost 90,000 police cameras have been installed in Singapore with "many more" to be placed islandwide, said Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam in Parliament on Monday (1 March).

These cameras are placed at major public locations, HDB estates, neighbourhood centres and car parks, he said during the Ministry of Home Affairs' Committee of Supply debate.

Shanmugam noted that such cameras have been a "game changer" in helping the police investigate and solve crimes. As of December last year, police cameras had helped in solving nearly 5,000 cases, he said.

"Surveys have shown that people feel safer with a prominent placement of police cameras in their neighbourhoods. In the next several years, I promise that many more cameras will be installed across the island, subject to the budgetary situation," he added.

In his speech, Shanmugam also shared other types of technological upgrades to the Singapore Police Force's capabilities. These include having automated self-help kiosks at neighbourhood police centres and posts to provide public access to police services around the clock.

The police will also roll out 300 next-generation fast response police cars by 2023, which will feature cameras that capture and provide 360-degree views of the vehicles' surroundings to the police command centre. This will allow those at the command centre to assess situations and deploy back-up if necessary.

These new vehicles will also be equipped with video analytics technology that can read number plates and automatically flag vehicles of interest. "So it will be surrounded by sensors, which will make people feel safer and more confident," said Shanmugam.

Police beacons to be rolled out will also allow members of the public to contact the police directly during emergencies. These will be equipped with a range of tools to deter offenders and project the police's presence.

"They will also have CCTV cameras so situations can be assessed immediately, and they are particularly useful in more secluded locations," said Shanmugam.

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