Police Day #OnThisDay (3 Jun)
📷: The first Police Day Parade was held on 3 June 1971. Image credit: National Archives of Singapore.
Today (3 June) is Police Day, designated since 1971 to recognise the contributions of the Singapore Police Force (SPF) towards safeguarding our people. 3 June 1959 was when Singapore obtained self-governance and the SPF first became accountable to the people of Singapore.
The annual Police Day celebrates the SPF’s achievements, and recognises the contributions of police officers, past and present. Beyond building sophisticated capabilities within the organisation, the SPF forms Police-community partnerships that play a critical role in safeguarding Singapore.
Our Singapore Way of policing was explained by DPM Heng Swee Keat, a former police officer, in a speech on 3 August 2021. He said he was once asked by an American professor if Singapore’s low crime rate was due to harsh punishments: “I took some time to explain to him that the Singapore Police had a holistic approach in dealing with law and order issues.
First, everyone is a potential victim of crime — so police officers spend a great deal of effort encouraging everyone to take prevention seriously. Prevention is better than cure. And the Police worked with agencies to optimize the design of public spaces, especially with the HDB to provide protection for the most vulnerable.
Second, it is not the punishment alone, but the probability of being caught. So it depends critically on whether you can solve a crime. Again, after several years of the NPP (Neighbourhood Police Post) system, the Police have built up enough trust and confidence for the public to come forward, to do their part. Each of us is a potential witness.
Third, it is how our criminal justice system is organised to ensure fairness and justice. We have due processes, and a public who supports taking action.”
The SPF’s holistic policing includes working closely with different agencies, such as the Central Narcotics Bureau, the prisons and the SCDF.
Cooperating with community partners gives the SPF an extra set of ‘eyes’ and ‘ears’ on the ground. Grassroots movements such as Citizens on Patrol and Vehicles on Watch have successfully helped to solve crimes, and shows the power of cooperation between the Police and the public.
Let’s continue to keep Singapore safe and secure, together!