Singapore 

Community police walking, cycling to keep neighbourhoods safe

We see our boys in blue keeping Singapore’s street’s safe every day, but not much is known about what they go through on a daily basis.

A series of photos posted on the Singapore Police Force – Recruitment Facebook page shows what Staff Sergeant (SSgt) Bryan Ang from the Serangoon Neighbourhood Police Centre (NPC) encounters on a typical day.

According to SSgt Ang, NPC officers do 12-hour day and night shifts. The day shift begins at 7am, where officers gather for a briefing by the Team Leader for updates on the latest crime trends, team instructions and upcoming events.

Frontline officers are armed with a variety of weapons to protect life and property, but more important is the skills and knowledge on the appropriate use of force and weapons in different situations.

Before heading out for patrols at 8am, the officers will pack their patrol vehicles, known as a Fast Response Car (FRC) with vital equipment such as polycarbonate shields that provide additional protection when necessary.

At 8.30am, SSgt Ang and his partner walks the grounds of a HDB neighbourhood to deter potential wrong-doers and to help the vulnerable. In addition to patrolling, SSgt Ang and his partners also conduct spot checks and speak to residents to obtain information. Although they encounter people from all walks of life, they make sure that everyone is treated fairly and with respect.

At 12 noon, officers also conduct high visibility vehicle patrols to provide a deterring presence.

Beyond HDB flats, police officers also watch over private housing estates, where the types of crimes committed can be vastly different.

According to SSgt Ang, the daily patrols are guided by a plan that allows the police to watch over a large neighbourhood systematically. Officers also conduct regular house visits to issue crime prevention advisories to residents.

After a debriefing by the Team Leader at 8.15pm, SSgt Ang and fellow officers end their shift with a regular jogging session that helps maintain the officers’ physical and mental fitness as well as encourages bonding.

SSgt Ang’s night shift begins at 8.30pm the following day. His first duty is to meticulously account for all equipment to ensure that they are functional.

His duty as an NPC officer also involves being deployed for counter duties, where officers ned to be professional yet empathetic in interacting with members of the public.

Officers also conduct high-visibility vehicle patrols at night to increase police presence and deter potential criminals, as crimes are more prone to happening in the wee hours.

Usually first to arrive at a crime scene, NPC officers like SSgt Ang need to cordon the crime csene to preserve the evidence. They are also trained to conduct on-scene investigations, such as fingerprint dusting and lifting.

At 4am, a road block is conducted to detect irresponsible motorists such as drunk-drivers. To make themselves more visible to road users, officers are required to carry torchlights and wear reflective vests and gloves.

The night shift ends at 8am, with a team debrief that allows the officers to share pointers and learn from each other’s experiences.

After that, SSgt Ang and his fellow shift officers get 2 days of rest to recover and prepare themselves for the next shift cycle.

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