1820 - 1826

Establishment of the Singapore Police Force

Our Origins


Policing in Singapore can trace its origins to soon after Sir Stamford Raffles established a trading post in Singapore. Recognising the need for law and order in the booming immigrant town, Major-General William Farquhar, the first British Resident of colonial Singapore, established the police department in 1820. He appointed his son-in-law, Francis James Bernard as the Police Assistant leading a 12-man team including a writer, jailor, jemadar (sergeant), and eight peada (constables) to enforce law and order in the fledgling settlement. The first police office was built near the Singapore River in December 1820.

The River from Monkey Bridge

© Charles Dyce, The River from Monkey Bridge. c. 1847 , Singapore: A Pictorial History, 1819 – 2000 by Gretchen Liu, Editions Didier Millet Pte Ltd, p. 30.