By: Irwan Shah
(Photos: Public Affairs Department)
The Singapore Police Force (SPF) has served different governments throughout its history, from the British colonial era to the present day. Let us take a journey back in time as Police Life uncovers the meaning and rationale behind each crest used over the past two centuries.
Singapore Police Force 2015 – Current
The current SPF Crest was unveiled in 2015, marking 50 years of Singapore’s independence. The more stylised and modern look represents the SPF’s commitment to being forward-looking while preserving its heritage. The SPF Crest carries a deep legacy, and is an official symbol linking our role with that of the Singapore government. At the centre of the crest is a red shield with five white stars and a white crescent moon, similar to the Singapore flag. The paddy wreath symbolises substance and humility, crowning the shield
to represent our commitment to the mission in safeguarding the nation and her people. The blue ribbon connected to the paddy wreath has the Malay words Polis Repablik Singapura inscribed on it, which means Republic of Singapore Police (a former name of the SPF) in English.
The Straits Settlements Police Force 1800s - 1942
The SPF has its roots in the Straits Settlements Police Force. Within the crest, a lozenge badge of the Straits Settlements was placed in the centre, surrounded by a wreath. Three Tudor Crowns within the white pall reversed in the crest represented the Straits Settlements’ three territories: Singapore, Malacca and Penang. This crest was officially used for over a hundred years leading up to
1942, before the Japanese Occupation of Singapore during World War II.
Singapore Police Force 1946 - 1959
The Straits Settlements were dissolved after the reorganisation of British positions in 1946. Singapore became a Crown Colony, while Malacca and Penang became a part of the Malayan Union, resulting in another modification of the Police crest. The scroll on the crest was changed to bear the words ‘Singapore Police Force’ and the red lozenge was replaced with a white disc. The three Tudor Crowns on the crest were replaced by a big St Edward’s crown in the centre of the red pall reversed. The new crown marked the era of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign with the death of King George VI and her coronation in 1952.
Polis Negara Singapura 1959 - 1963
Singapore attained self-governance in 1959, and its state flag was introduced, prompting a change to the crest in December that year. This was the first time that the red shield was used, as seen on the present national arms, replacing the white disc. The crown and the red pall reversed were replaced with a crescent moon and five stars while the scroll bore the words, Polis Negara Singapura (State of Singapore Police).
Polis Di-raja Malaysia 1963 - 1965
Singapore gained independence from the United Kingdom as one of the states of Malaysia in 1963. During this period, the SPF was integrated into the Polis Di-Raja Malaysia (Royal Malaysia Police) along with the police forces of Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak. The SPF adopted another entity’s crest for the second time. A lion’s head, representing Singapore, was at the centre of the crest. A traditional Malay dagger keris, representing Malaya, and a traditional Borneo machete parang elang, representing Sabah and Sarawak, were placed behind the lion’s head in a criss-cross formation. They were surrounded by a wreath of garlanded paddy stalks, and accompanied by a Malaysian crown at the top.
Polis Repablik Singapura 1965 - 2015
With Singapore’s independence in August 1965, the police crest reverted to the one before the merger and was subsequently updated. The red shield, with the crescent moon and five stars, returned as the emblem in the centre of the crest. Two blue and white garlands of paddy sheaves, which are bound together, surrounded it. The words on the scroll were changed to ‘Polis Repablik
Singapura’ (Republic of Singapore Police). Singapore’s independence marked the beginning of the SPF that we know today.
SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE
13 February 2020 @ 11:58 AM