Year 2020
December 2020

Police beacon prototypes on trial to enhance SPF operations in secluded areas

December 11, 2020

SINGAPORE: Authorities are rolling out trials for new standalone devices that allow people to contact the police remotely.

Known as police beacons, two prototypes will go on trial for a year from this month, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) and Home Team Science and Technology Agency (HTX) said in a joint news release on Friday (Dec 11).

The prototypes will be deployed at the Punggol Waterway Park Connector and the Sengkang Riverside Park Connector.

“The police beacon aims to enhance police presence, increase accessibility to emergency services and improve police response to those in need of police assistance in locations that are quieter and more secluded,” SPF and HTX said.

Outfitted with intervention tools such as closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras, sirens, blinkers, floodlights and speakers – which can all be operated remotely from the Police Operations Command Centre (POCC) – the beacons “serve as a visible projection of police presence even when police officers are not physically present”, SPF and HTX said.

Members of the public can connect to POCC quickly, directly and in real time through a communications button on each beacon, and the police will be able to provide assistance remotely before officers arrive on the scene.

“Members of the public will be able to interact directly with the police, provide information and request for help,” SPF and HTX said.

“The real-time video footage of the police beacon’s surroundings can be viewed at POCC, and will complement the police’s sense-making and incident management capabilities.

“With the CCTVs, the police can better assess live situations and thus be better equipped to assist members of the public in real time.”

The beacons also feature motion detection lights and electronic screens which display crime-prevention messages.

Additionally, each beacon is equipped with an automated external defibrillator (AED), and the police will be alerted when it is accessed. Police can then determine if the mobilisation of emergency medical services is required.

The beacons were conceptualised and designed by HTX’s Policing Programme Management Centre together with SPF.

Mr Bernard Phang, director of the centre, said: “The police beacon is an integration of various technologies such as audio and live-video technologies, and sensors to enable the police to respond much faster to incidents at public spaces.”

“The police beacon acts as an additional node for the public to report incidents during emergencies at the press of a button, and facilitates police intervention through remote activation.”

Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police Lian Ghim Hua, SPF’s director of operations, said that the beacons will be a valuable addition to the police’s arsenal, with benefits for both the public and law enforcement officers.

“The police beacon aims to enhance the sense of public safety and provide members of the public with better accessibility to the police, especially in times of emergency,” SAC Lian said.

“It will further improve the police’s operational effectiveness in deterring and responding to crime.

“The police will continue to explore and adopt technology to enhance our capabilities to keep Singapore safe and secure.”

SPF and HTX said that the public can expect to see more police beacons in park connectors and other public spaces in future, should the trial prove successful.

Source: CNA/kg(ac)

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