FEATURES

18 April 2018

Beat the Heat with the New Uniform

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Beat the Heat with the New Uniform

By: Hadi Hafidz (Photos: Public Affairs Department)

Since 16 April 2018, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) officers have been donning new uniforms. Whilst still sporting its signature blue, the new uniform has been redesigned to help officers beat the heat and humidity. Read on to find out how these uniform enhancements help to improve the operational effectiveness of our officers and support them in their policing work.

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Instead of soaking in Singapore’s humidity and scorching heat, many of us would rather stay indoors during the day. This is not the case for our SPF officers who continue with their policing duties, even in the extreme heat. 

To enable our officers to operate more effectively and comfortably, the SPF has collaborated with the Office of the Chief Science and Technology Officer – as part of the SPF’s capability and equipment enhancement programme – to design and develop new operational uniforms. Made of 98 per cent polyester and 2 per cent spandex, the new fabric allows for faster drying and better absorption of perspiration.

The new uniform also features the replacement of metallic buttons with concealed plastic buttons. These plastic buttons enhance officers’ comfort level as they wear body vests (ballistic resistant and operational vests) over their uniforms. The word ‘POLICE’ is embroidered above the name tag on the right chest of the uniform.

Available in two iterations, the long-sleeved version is worn by the specialist units officers while the short-sleeved one is donned by ground response force officers. 

Uniform Put to Test

Prior to the launch of the new uniform, the design went through two rounds of trial testing.

The first trial in 2013 was conducted to test the effectiveness of the uniform on front-line police officers who performed foot and vehicle patrols. 

The results showed that officers who wore the new shirts recorded one degree Celsius lower body temperature than officers who donned the old shirts. Officers also commented that the shirts felt thinner and lighter. However, the prototype pants did not garner the same results. This led to a thinner construction for the new pants. Additional pockets and knee pads were also removed. 

A second trial was conducted in 2015. Involving 54 officers from Ang Mo Kio North Neighbourhood Police Centre, these officers participated in feedback sessions and provided their responses through questionnaires. The results ascertained that officers preferred their new uniforms over the older ones.

The Minor Tweaks in Between

Although there were no drastic changes made to the uniform since 1969, several minor tweaks had been made along the way. In 1972, the whistle lanyard was changed from blue and white cord to a silver coloured metal chain. Subsequently, in 1985, the uniform material was changed from 75 per cent polyester to 100 per cent polyester to allow officers to feel more comfortable under the hot weather and to provide a much smarter appearance for officers.

With the advent of better communication technologies, the familiar whistle and chain became obsolete and were phased out in 2002. In 2011, the jockey cap was rolled out forcewide to further improve comfort level, as it was lighter and more breathable than the peak cap. The peak cap, on the other hand, remains a constant for ceremonial usage.

As the SPF continues to look towards greater progress, the uniform is one of the aspects that the Force will review to strive for improvements. With the enhanced breathability, comfort and lightness that the new uniform brings with it, officers are able to operate more effectively and comfortably in this local humidity to better safeguard Singapore.

The timeline below captures the evolution of police officers’ uniform over the decade.

(Infographics showing the Timeline of the Police uniform)

SPF’s Uniform Evolution

1863 – 1893

  • The first official police uniform made its appearance in 1863 when local policemen were fitted with dark blue serge coats, trousers, caps and black shoes.
  • However, the 1879 Commission of Inquiry, which was formed to look into the improvement of the Force, found that the heavily-woven fabric was impractical and uncomfortable in humid weather.
  • Hence, the blue serge uniform was eventually phased out in 1893.

    Blue_serge_uniform

    1893 – 1942

  • In 1890, the heavily-woven fabric was swapped for the khaki shirt and shorts, black puttees and black boots.
  • In 1893, it proved to be a great success and the Force officially adopted it since.
  • Officers donned this uniform until the Japanese Occupation when they wore the Japanese khaki cap, normally used by Japanese soldiers.

    Khaki_Uniform

    1945 – 1969

  • After World War II, the khaki police uniform underwent yet another transformation.
  • The khaki shirt was replaced with a grey flannel shirt, khaki shorts and skirt, dark blue hose tops, black boots, a black leather belt and navy blue whistle lanyard.
  • The beret was worn by officers until 1964 when it was replaced by the peak cap.

    Grey_flannelUniform_Grey_FlannelBeret_to_Peak_Cap

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    1969-2018        

  • In 1969, the dacron polyester material was used to replace the flannel shirt and khaki pants.
  • It comprised a peak cap, dark blue shirt and trousers, black belt, blue and white corded whistle lanyard, black socks and black boots.
  • The new uniform was both comfortable and smart, and the colour blue, an internationally identified police colour.

 1969_197219852002_2018NeeSoon_Unflatten_FA_edited

           

16 April 2018 Onwards

  • From 16 April 2018 onwards, the new fabric made from 98 per cent polyester and 2 per cent spandex allows for faster drying and better absorption of perspiration.
  • Concealed plastic buttons are also used to replace the metallic buttons on the uniform for increased comfort level.
  • The word ‘POLICE’ is embroidered above the name tag portion.

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Last Updated on 05 July 2018