Live video function may be enabled for some 999 calls as part of efforts to improve police response, capabilities
SINGAPORE: The Singapore Police Force (SPF) is looking to implement a new system that allows 999 callers to stream live footage of the scene from their mobile phones back to the command centre, so that officers have a better idea of the situation before they arrive.
During an emergency call, officers at the Police Operations Command Centre will first assess if there is a need for the video function.
“Once it is established that the video will be useful, an SMS link will be sent to the caller to activate VEEN (Video Extension for Emergency Numbers),” said the police in media release on Tuesday (Jun 22).
“The system gives the POCC (Police Operations Command Centre) an additional option to acquire live footage of the incident as it happens, thereby providing the SPF with a better understanding of the situation before the arrival of officers at the scene.”
The footage can also be sent to responding officers in short clips, the police added.
The system will be implemented in late 2023.
This was among the initiatives unveiled on Tuesday during the annual police workplan seminar.
In a recorded speech, Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam said the use of technology is one of the ways the SPF seeks to improve operational capabilities, to better serve the public.
“We will also use more technology in training, mixed reality systems, artificial intelligence, for greater realism and effectiveness,” he said.
IMPROVED TRAINING EQUIPMENT
An example of this is a robotic system known as the Mobile TASER Training Target, which will be trialled with police frontline units from July to September.
It aims to replace the “conventional ‘man-in-suit’ training” for scenario-based taser training, said the police.
Currently, a role player has to put on a padded suit and act as the perpetrator during training.
But with the new system, the risk of injury is reduced. It is also useful during the COVID-19 pandemic as it reduces physical contact during training, said the police.
There will also be a trial of a new tactical training system for frontline officers who need to make quick decisions on the ground in response to threats.
Called the Live Instrumentation Training System, it uses body-worn detectors to capture laser hits. The data is then sent back to the analytics system to provide feedback on the training.
“The system is designed to enable trainees to experience, as realistically as possible, the firing of rounds,” said SPF.
Another feature includes live tactical training in a built-up location, which mimics operational terrain in the real world. This makes the training “highly realistic”, the police added.
IMPROVING FRONTLINE CAPABILITIES
All Neighbourhood Police Centres will eventually get an Automated Equipping System, which allows officers to withdraw and return operational equipment quickly.
With the system, officers can draw equipment without the need for a maintenance officer, who can be redeployed for frontline duty. Currently, the process of stock-taking of equipment is manual and takes up officers’ time, the police noted.
The new system will enable six officers to withdraw equipment at the same time, which saves about 30 minutes per shift and improves efficiency, added the SPF.
The police had been trialling the automated system at Bishan’s Neighbourhood Police Centre since June 2018.
TAPPING THE COMMUNITY
Building on the success of the Neighbourhood Watch Zone, the Community Watch Scheme is expected to be launched in December.
It will shift the police’s community engagement from a geographical-based approach to an interest-based one.
Different interest groups will be created under five broad categories: Home, Work/Learning, Transport, Lifestyle and Cyber.
“When one signs up for any interest group, they will receive crime information, alerts and advisories relevant to their areas of interest,” said SPF.
“This will help increase the general level of vigilance in the community and encourage active citizenry where members who come across suspicious persons or activities will actively report or submit information to the police.”
Members will also have access to training materials and resources.
After the scheme is launched, the Neighbourhood Watch Zone will be fully integrated under it.