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The Police Beacon

By: Irwan Shah

(Photos: Naveen Raj)

Conceived and developed through the close cooperation between the Singapore Police Force (SPF) and the Home Team Science and Technology Agency (HTX), the Police Beacon is the latest to join the SPF’s technological arsenal to prevent, deter and detect crime. Through incorporating various audio, video and sensor technologies into a single platform, the Police Beacon is another example of the SPF’s foray into the next frontier of policing services that serves to enhance police presence, increase accessibility for the public to police services during emergencies, and improving police response to those in need of assistance in locations that are more secluded. Read on to find out more about its key features, and how it will help to keep the community safe!

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More than a Beacon

In December 2020, the SPF deployed two Police Beacon prototypes, one at Punggol Waterway Park Connector and the other at Sengkang Riverside Park Connector, for a one-year trial. These prototypes are equipped with several unique features and capabilities, including motion detectors that activate lights to illuminate the surroundings when someone approaches the Police Beacon. Cameras are also mounted on the Police Beacon with the capability to transmit video footage in real-time to the Police Operations Command Centre (POCC), complementing the Police’s sense-making and incident management capabilities.

Members of the public who need immediate assistance can speak to the Police in real-time through a built-in communication button. Police warning systems, such as blinkers, sirens, floodlights and speakers, have also been installed and can be remotely operated by POCC to serve as an interim intervention measure before the arrival of responding police officers at the scene. In the event of a medical emergency, there is also an AED Box mounted on the Police Beacon for ready access by members of the public. When the AED box is activated, the Police will immediately be alerted, allowing the Police to make an assessment if emergency medical services should be mobilised.

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Working Together

The Police Beacon conceptualisation process began in June 2019 between HTX’s Policing Programme Management Centre and the SPF’s Operations Department. The features and functions of the Police Beacon were developed based on the team’s assessment of how police officers’ response and operational effectiveness can be enhanced to better serve the public. Concluding on the finalised features also involved several rounds of design reviews and iterations.

“While the various technologies mounted on the Police Beacon are not new, this is the first time we are pulling them together into one single platform,” explained Deputy Superintendent of Police Lionel Lee from SPF’s Operations Department. “Throughout this process, the team remained focussed on the key intent of the Police Beacon – to allow the Police to better serve the public.”

Should the Police Beacon trial prove to be effective, the public can look forward to seeing more Police Beacons deployed in other public spaces in the future. The Police Beacon is just one of the many ways which the SPF leverages technology with its stakeholders to explore and adopt new technologies to achieve its vision of making Singapore the safest place in the world.


02 March 2021 @ 10:45 AM
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