27 September 2016

In Perspective with Director Community Partnership


As Director of the newly formed Community Partnership Department (CPD), my team and I are tasked with the challenge of bringing the Singapore Police Force (SPF)’s community engagement programmes to greater heights. In my years of service, I have served in various positions which included Officer in Command (Patrol) Jurong Division, Commanding Officer Changi Neighbourhood Police Centre and Deputy Commander Jurong Division. I am grateful that these postings gave me the opportunity to work closely with various community partners such as schools, grassroots organisations, security personnel, businessmen and volunteers to roll out Community Safety and Security Programmes. Being familiar with the benefits and challenges of implementing such programmes places me in good stead to evaluate and streamline them.

The CPD was formed on 18 March 2016 to further SPF’s efforts in engaging the community. It demonstrates the Force’s commitment in working with the public to fight crime and threats of terrorism. Over the years, we have forged strong relationships with our community partners. These relationships are built on trust through close collaboration with our community partners with the aim of providing a safe and secure home for our people and a conducive environment for business to flourish. Our low crime rate is testament to the success of our community policing strategy. According to the Economist’s Safe Cities Index 2015, Singapore was ranked top in terms of personal safety. Furthermore, there was a 2.1% decline in the latest general crime statistics collated between January to June 2016.

We envision that CPD will be able to deepen current levels of engagement with various community sectors and establish new areas of partnership. Through engagement efforts, we aim to cultivate the right attitude amongst individuals so that they will recognise the importance of staying vigilant to guard against crime and terrorism, and develop a sense of responsibility over their own safety and security. In addition, we hope to mobilise the community into taking action for the greater good of society in the event that Singapore’s safety and security is threatened.

SGSecure, seeks to realise this very aim. SGSecure is a national movement initiated by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to engage, sensitise, train, organise, mobilise and exercise the community to better protect ourselves against terrorist attacks. Underlying this campaign is the key message that the Police cannot be everywhere and that each member of society has a part to play in protecting our homes and our nation.

"The Police cannot be everywhere and that each member of society has a part to play in protecting our homes and our nation."

As such, we strive to build a self-help community to serve as a key line of defence against threats to Singapore’s safety. Our established community network will allow the movement to gain momentum as we bring the training into neighbourhoods, schools and workplaces. Residents will be educated on the suspicious tell-tales signs to look out for, skills such as Run-Hide-Tell to help them survive an attack and how to lodge a report of an attack or any suspicious activity. These skills are relevant and highly applicable to daily living as they keep an active lookout for crimes and protect themselves against imminent danger.

The community will also be urged to subscribe to our Police Community Alert Service in order to keep abreast with the latest information on crime and terrorist threats. Moreover, they will be able to sign up for our volunteer schemes, either as a Volunteer Special Constabulary or Citizens On Patrol, to patrol the neighbourhood and spread crime prevention advisories. The active involvement of our community will enable us to raise overall community vigilance, resilience and cohesion as more community leaders will be ready to render help to others during an incident or crisis.

In addition to rolling out SGSecure, the CPD will also review its current programmes to identify which effective programmes can be further expanded in scale and scope, and which programmes can be folded or improved. This stock-take will enable the SPF to focus its resources and maximise them in order to enhance our effectiveness.

As CPD embarks on its new journey, we will continue to build on the strong foundation of public trust and community partnership laid over the years to achieve our vision – to develop an active, vigilant and empowered community with a heart to protect our safe and secure home.

“Our low crime rate is testament to the success of our community policing strategy.”

Last Updated on 04 October 2016