Published: 15 August 2016
Dr Chia Shi-Lu: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) how is the recruitment drive to attract more Singaporeans to the Police Force progressing; (b) how many have joined in the last two years; (c) what is the retention rate; and (d) whether there are plans to expand the number of Neighbourhood Police Posts.
1. In the last two years, the Singapore Police Force recruited close to 1,300 Police Officers. The retention rate has been stable, with an annual resignation rate of 2%.
2. There are however limits to how far we can sustain this pace of recruitment. Like the rest of the civil service, the SPF headcount is subject to a manpower management framework. The rate of recruitment will slow down over the next few years, in line with the slower growth in the overall local workforce.
3. Given the many new demands on the SPF, whether it is to deal with the terrorist threat, cybercrime or transnational organised crime - it is important that we continue to recruit the best officers that we can within the manpower cap. It is also important that we make the best use of the Police Officers that we have: by developing new concepts of operations, make smarter use of technology and invest in the training and development of our officers.
4. We are currently in the midst of re-designing our Neighbourhood Police Posts (NPPs) as part of the new Community Policing System. We are studying how we can better use technology at the NPPs to provide round-the-clock automated services for residents, while allowing us to redeploy Police Officers away from the NPPs to more critical areas, such as patrols in the neighbourhoods. We will explore how to better position the NPPs as key nodes and rallying points for our community volunteer programmes such as SG Secure. There are currently no plans to increase the total number of NPPs but there may be relocation of some NPPs as the population shifts to new housing estates.