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Community Policing in the Context of Singapore (From Resource Material Series No. 56, P 126-139, 2000, Hiroshi Iitsuka and Rebecca Findlay-Debeck, eds. -- See NCJ-191475)

NCJ Number
Jarmal Singh
Date Published
December 2000
14 pages
This paper discusses the Singapore Police Force's (SPF's) experience in adopting community policing as the principal policing strategy, and the Neighborhood Police Post (NPP) and the Neighborhood Police Centers (NPC's), which are the operating structures for implementing community policing, are described.
The key stimulus for the SPF's adoption of the community-oriented policing model was the desire to establish and leverage community support for law enforcement policies and strategies in the face of a changing operating environment. The primary changes in the operating environment were an increasing crime trend, changes in population distribution, increasing public expectations of police, and learning from the Japanese Koban system. In November 1981, a team of Japanese experts was invited to help implement the Koban system in Singapore. The recommendation of the Study Team was to establish one NPP per constituency. Eight NPP's were established in June 1983 in the eight constituencies in one police division. The second phase of implementation began with the establishment of several NPP's in two other police divisions. Positive public response to the NPP system accelerated the final implementation phase, which ended in December 1994. There are now 91 NPP's throughout Singapore. The objective of the NPP system are to improve police-community relations; to prevent and suppress crime through the cooperation of and support from the community; and to project a better police image and gain the confidence of the public in the police through more community-oriented services. A NPP is staffed by a team of 12 to 16 police officers, who provide round-the-clock service by working in three 8-hour shifts. Among NPP duties are high visibility patrols, counter services, incident response, house visits, crime prevention, and community liaison. The NPP system of community policing has worked well for 14 years, but a 1996 review of its operational strategy led to a plan for NPC's. The existing seven police land divisions will be reconfigured into six policing regions. Reporting to each of these regional commands will be the NPC's. NPC's will be the sole mechanism for front-line policing to ensure the community's safety and security. In the redesigned system, NPC's will be accountable for the total outcome of policing in the community. Whereas the NPP system provides a community policing post with limited service, under the NPC system, a one-stop total policing center will provide the full range of policing services. A recent review of the pilot-phase implementation has shown that NPC objectives have been largely met.