Year 2021
August 2021

Number of police cameras to double to at least 200,000 by 2030: Shanmugam

August 03, 2021
By Navene Elangovan

  • The number of police cameras will increase from more than 90,000 to at least 200,000 by 2030
  • The cameras will help the police detect, deter and solve cases, said Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam
  • Separately, the Government will award commemorative bicentennial medals to police officers who were in service in 2020


SINGAPORE — The number of police cameras deployed island-wide will increase more than two-fold to at least 200,000 by 2030.

These cameras — numbering more than 90,000 now — will help police officers detect, deter and solve cases, Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam said during a parliamentary motion on Tuesday (Aug 3) to commemorate the bicentennial of the Singapore Police Force (SPF).

SPF, set up in 1820, marked its 200th anniversary last year.

The motion was tabled by Members of Parliament (MPs) Christopher de Souza of Holland-Bukit Timah Group Representation Constituency, Murali Pillai of Bukit Batok and Patrick Tay of Pioneer.

Addressing criticism that surveillance cameras are an invasion of privacy, Mr Shanmugam said that such claims overlooked the “basic” point that most people want to live in a safe and secure environment.

“Conceptually, having cameras in public spaces is no different from the police interviewing eyewitnesses to establish what happened,” he said.

“The camera is a constant, ever-present eyewitness, whose memory won’t be suspect. It’s literally black-and-white evidence.”

Mr Shanmugam, who is also Law Minister, pointed to surveys showing that people feel safer when police cameras are placed prominently in their neighbourhoods.

Since 2012, more than 90,000 police cameras have been installed in public places such as housing estates, neighbourhood centres and car parks.

On the effectiveness of police cameras in keeping law and order, Mr Shanmugam gave the example of how an auxiliary police officer suspected of being behind an armed robbery in April had been caught in five hours, with the help of footage from police cameras.

The suspect was carrying a gun and allegedly robbed a moneylender in Jurong.


During the motion, Mr Shanmugam also paid tribute to the 125 police officers who died in the line of duty.

These officers included the late inspector Allan Lim Kim Sai, who died aged 28 in a shootout with a kidnapper in 1965, and station inspector Boo Tiang Huat, who died aged 47 while making anti-housebreaking rounds in 1994.

Members of the House applauded both their families, who were present in the gallery at Parliament House on Tuesday.

Said Mr Shanmugam: “These officers and others gave up their lives while trying to keep us safe and secure. We remember what they have done for the SPF and for Singapore.”

In response to suggestions by several MPs to honour retired and fallen officers, Mr Shanmugam said that the ministry would award a commemorative police bicentennial medal to SPF officers who were in service last year.

They include regular and volunteer police officers, and full-time and operationally ready national servicemen. The medal will be worn on their uniforms.

The medal, said Mr Shanmugam, is a reminder of SPF’s history and the country’s appreciation for the officers’ commitment to safeguarding the lives of everyday Singaporeans.

His ministry will also award a medallion to former police officers who retired or completed their national service liabilities before Jan 1 last year in recognition of their contributions.

It will also be given to civilian officers who were in service with SPF last year.

The families of SPF officers who died in the line of duty will also receive the medallion “in honour of their contributions and sacrifice”, Mr Shanmugam said.

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