During the Committee on Appropriations (COS) debate in Parliament on March 3, the second Minister of the Interior, Mrs. Josephine Teo, spoke about the efforts to transform the local team through technology. Here are three highlights of his speech.
1. Technology improves our operational efficiency
Singapore Police (SPF): the SPF camera network effectively protected the community from threats by resolving over 6,000 cases. Reports of crimes such as unlicensed money lending declined by 94% from 2013 to 2021, between January and June, to around 2,100 HDB blocks installed with cameras. SPF will expand its camera network to over 200,000 cameras by 2030 to continue to protect our public housing estates and improve our response to crime and security threats.
Singapore Civil Defense Force (SCDF): SCDF will implement a 24/7 real-time service National Grid of Hazardous Materials Sensors to enable early detection of hazardous materials. With earlier detection, SCDF will be able to quickly dispatch resources to investigate and manage the situation.
SCDF frontliners will also be equipped with smart devices – such as smartphones, tablets and smartwatches – so they can better respond in an emergency. An example of technology applied in this way is the IT Integrator of Operational Medical Networks (OMNII), which was jointly developed by SCDF and the Ministry of Health. Launched in 2021, OMNII allows paramedics to quickly share information with hospitals so patients can receive prompt assistance when they arrive.
2. Technology makes processes more efficient and transparent to the public
Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (I AC): This year, the ICA will make more digital documents available. Members of the public will soon be able to request and access digital documents, such as birth and death certificates, long-term visitor passes and student passes. These digital documents can be retrieved securely and conveniently on mobile devices via the MyICA mobile app. Other electronic services, such as applying for ID cards, passports and extending visit pass, will also be made available on this application.
Singapore Prison Service (PSS): Since 2020, SPS uses video conference for its rehabilitation programs. Through virtual family programs, inmates have been able to connect with their children during the pandemic. SPS has also partnered with Singapore Yellow Ribbon to facilitate virtual job interviews, allowing inmates to continue to access employment assistance.
Tablets have also been used to facilitate inmate rehabilitation through self-directed learning and engagement. Inmates communicate with family and friends through e-mail and keep up to date with news. This sense of connection with their loved ones and society is essential to their rehabilitation process.
3. Digital Officer Development
The local team also uses the technology to train officers to fight cybercrime through a two-pronged approach. First, it equips officers with tools to detect and provide intelligence on cybercrime activity. For example, the Home Team Science and Technology Agency developed a E-commerce monitoring tool to assist law enforcement officers in scanning online contraband listings. Second, the local team trains and keeps officers informed of the latest cybercrime trends. For example, SPF works with private sector organizations to train officers on technology features and technical skills to fight cybercrime.
Debate of the Credit Committee (COS) of the MHA 2022
Read the COS 2022 speech delivered by Second Minister Joséphine Teo. For more information about MHA COS 2022, visit the MHA COS 2022 webpage.