Press Releases

Amendments to the Police Force Act to Take Effect From 1 January 2022

Published: 30 December 2021

1.    The amendments to the Police Force Act (“PFA”), was passed in Parliament on 3 August 2021.

2.    The following provisions to: (a) enhance the Singapore Police Force’s (“SPF”) operational capabilities and readiness; and (b) strengthen SPF’s disciplinary, administrative and human resources processes will take effect from 1 January 2022.

Enhancing SPF’s Operational Capabilities and Readiness

3.    The provisions to enhance SPF’s operational capabilities and readiness, which will take effect from 1 January 2022, are as follows:

a.    Increased penalties for motorists who evade roadblocks, and covering more modes of roadblock evasion apart from physical dash-through, to ensure that deterrence against such offences remains effective.

b.    Make explicit Police Officers’ existing powers to erect barriers and cordons to control human traffic, and to make it an offence for persons who fail to comply with a Police Officer’s instructions not to cross such barriers and cordons.

c.    Equipping officers with necessary powers and protections, as follows:

i.    Providing Police Officers with the power to enter any place in case of medical emergency, to protect persons from injury or death;

ii.    Providing Special Police Officers (“SPOs”) with the same powers conferred on regular Police Officers.[1] Previously, SPOs only have powers of investigation, and do not have other powers to allow them to take proactive action to protect public safety.[2]

iii.    Providing Commercial Affairs Officers in SPF, who investigate commercial and financial crimes, with more powers required in the course of their duties, such as the power to arrest persons who possess stolen items. Previously, CAOs only have powers of investigation.

Strengthening SPF’s Disciplinary, Administrative and Human Resources Processes

4.    To streamline SPF’s administrative and human resource processes, the following provisions will also take effect from 1 January 2022:

a.    For the Minister for Home Affairs and Commissioner of Police (“CP”) to respectively be the authorities to appoint, promote, reduce rank, dismiss and discharge SPOs ranked Superintendent and above, and Deputy Superintendent and below. This is aligned with the promotion authorities for SCDF.

b.    Allowing SPOs and civilian officers employed by SPF to join Police associations alongside Police Officers, as an avenue to advance their welfare.

c.    Other minor operational amendments to streamline processes controlling the sale of Police uniforms or insignias, and the issuance of warrant cards.  

5.    The remaining amendments to the PFA will take effect at a later date.  More details will be announced separately. Please refer to Annex A for more information on the amendments to the PFA.

Annex A

Press Release on First Reading of the Police Force (Amendment) Bill

- Second Reading Speech on the Police Force (Amendment) Bill

- Wrap-Up Speech on the Police Force (Amendment) Bill

[1] SPOs refer to: (i) Full-Time National Servicemen (NSmen); (ii) Operationally Ready NSmen; (iii) Volunteer Ex-NSmen; and (iv) Volunteer Special Constabulary Officers.

[2] Examples of duties which require such powers include setting up roadblocks, performing crowd dispersal and assisting in cases of attempted suicide