The one that started it all – did you know that Queenstown was named after Queen Elizabeth II to mark her coronation in 1953? Not only does Queenstown have our first public library, polyclinic and sports complex, it’s also where the first NPC in Singapore was established!
By: Domnic Dass
On 20 December 2022, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) commemorated the 25th anniversary of Queenstown Neighbourhood Police Centre (NPC) by holding a Silver Jubilee celebration. Here are three things you should know about our very first NPC!
1. It was a Milestone Moment in Community Policing
The launch of Queenstown NPC on 20 December 1997 was a milestone in the development of the SPF’s community policing strategy. NPCs represented an enhancement of the Neighbourhood Police Post (NPP) system, which had been launched in June 1983.
“The public can expect faster response, more immediate investigation, better counter service, more frequent patrols and a sharper community focus.” – Mr Wong Kan Seng, Minister for Home Affairs, 1997
The NPC system was introduced to deal with an evolving operational landscape, changing demographics and technological advances, serving as a One-Stop Policing Centre for the community. NPCs would allow officers to work more closely with residents and community partners to address their safety and security concerns.
2. It also Launched a New Role for Our Frontline Officers
Introduced at the same time was a new role for Police officers, the Neighbourhood Police Centre Officer (NPCO). NPCOs had enhanced roles and responsibilities that included conducting patrols, responding to calls of distress, investigating crime and making house visits – all core functions for our present-day Ground Response Force officers!
Through patrols and regular engagements with residents, NPCOs can learn more about their concerns, and can better serve them. That’s just another aspect of community policing that the NPC system supports.3. Queenstown NPC Enjoys a Strong Bond with its Volunteers and Community Partners
Over the decades, Queenstown NPC has built strong bonds with its volunteers and community partners. Among them are Ms Mary Chan and Mr Thomas Phun, BBM!
For Mary, age is just a number. The 79-year-old Citizens On Patrol (COP) member first started volunteering with Queenstown NPC in 2016, having served as a Residents’ Committee member for many years before that. “As a COP member, I look out for potential security risks such as suspicious characters or activities,” she says.
Mary encourages others to volunteer as COP members as it is a meaningful way to give back to the community. It has also helped her appreciate the work and responsibilities of SPF officers.
The Chairman of Buona Vista Citizens’ Consultative Committee (CCC), Thomas is one of the four CCC chairpersons who received a Token of Appreciation from Queenstown NPC for its 25th anniversary. CCCs lead grassroots activities within a constituency and help build strong community bonds. “Our relationship with Queenstown NPC is good,” shared Thomas. “Whenever community concerns arise, the officers are very responsive.”
This engagement goes beyond sharing crime prevention and anti-scam information with residents. “The officers from Queenstown NPC also attend our monthly meetings to hear feedback from residents and address their concerns,” said Thomas. “This is exactly why community policing is a win-win situation: it busts crime in our neighbourhoods and increases public confidence in our Police.”