Year 2019
April 2019

Singapore police roll out drone-equipped surveillance vehicles

April 11, 2019
By Cindy Co

SINGAPORE: The Singapore Police Force (SPF) has launched a fleet of drone-equipped vehicles it plans to use for pre-planned security events, search missions and situations requiring aerial surveillance.

The one-year pilot programme is one of the high-tech law enforcement measures SPF is rolling out to enhance its operational effectiveness and become a “smart force”, it said in a briefing on Wednesday (Apr 10) for this year’s Police Workplan Seminar.

These vehicles, called the Sky Aerial Response Command (Sky ARC), will each carry up to three drones.

Other incidents in which the drones could be used include tracking suspects across a large area, such as a forest. The drones are equipped with thermal imaging and can detect human presence.

The drones, which can fly to an altitude of a few hundred metres, will feed information and transmit images back to an integrated command and control system, said SPF.

In response to concerns about privacy, SPF said that the drones come with sirens and markings to make their presence clear to people in the area.

In addition, SPF will comply with existing government data storage and privacy policies.

Speaking on how the police intend to deal with privacy concerns, director of planning and organisation Assistant Commissioner Daniel Tan said: “It’s a matter of the trust we have with the public, and this is something we don’t take for granted.

“(This is) something that we have to emphasise to our officers and continue to have the systems and structures in place so that (there is) the trust with the public,” he added.


The police are also exploring the use of wearable technology such as smart glasses equipped with video feeds for information gathering, said SPF.

The glasses will be able to perform real-time video analytics such as facial recognition.

The police will also use a miniature humanoid robot to enhance its outreach to pre-schoolers and students.

Named Mi-ASTRO, the robot is programmed with customised messages on police information and safety tips for children, and is a “useful icebreaker between officers and kids”, said SPF.

The robot has already been trialled at three PCF pre-schools. SPF hopes to eventually equip the Mi-ASTRO with a translator to communicate with the elderly.

There were also demonstrations for two other training technologies to improve police defence tactics and marksmanship.

The Impact Measurement Trainer, a manikin with embedded force sensors, is meant to provide immediate feedback to trainees. Display screens on the side will show the accuracy and strength of the trainees’ hits.

The Enhanced Live Firing Range System will similarly provide real-time feedback on marksmanship. Sensors will provide users with recommendations on weapon handling, breathing, posture and gaze.

Source: CNA/ga(aj/cy)

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