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November 26, 2021


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Video Surveillance

CCTV cameras in Singapore set to more than double by 2030 following use in crime solving successes

Police surveillance cameras in Singapore have helped solved more than 5,000 crimes since they were introduced in 2012, according to the Singapore Police Force (SPF).  

The Government is so confident about the cameras’ success that it is aiming to increase the number of cameras from 90,000 to 200,000 by 2030. Known as PolCam, the surveillance camera network covers locations such as housing estates, neighbourhood centres, car parks and public transport infrastructure. 

SPF says the cameras have been very effective in deterring physical crimes, such as unlicensed money lending related harassment cases, including burglary, car theft and damage to property. These crimes have decreased by more than half from 2015 to 2020. 

According to SPF, besides helping to deter and solve crime, PolCam enhances the police’s situational awareness capabilities and enables officers to be more responsive in managing law and order incidents on the ground. Examples include identifying suspects who start a fight before officers arrive on the scene, or calling for backup if there are many people involved. In several such cases, officers were able to arrest suspects as soon as they arrived at the scene. 

Polcam continues to evolve with new capabilities, such as refined video analytics technology to speed up searches for relevant footage. 

Among the officers who’ve seen the PolCam system develop is inspector Tan Wan Ting, Senior Investigation Officer with Bedok Police Division. “Compared to when I first started investigations six years ago, the quality of the images from PolCam is clearer now, due to technological advances,” she said.

“This lets us better identify persons of interest and determine their roles in an incident, so that we can corroborate their involvement with other evidence and statements. We can then put together a comprehensive account of the incident to determine the culpability of the suspects and their motivations for committing a crime.” 

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