12 Mar 2019

The Official Opening of Woodlands Police Division and Appointment Ceremony - Speech by Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law

1.   CP, Guests, Good evening.

 

2. The opening of Woodlands Police Division represents a new chapter in SPF’s frontline policing strategy.

 

Commitment to Keep the Community Safe and Secure

 

3.  This area was covered by two Divisions: Jurong Division, which was created in 1952 as the ‘Rural West’ Division, at a time shortly before Jurong underwent rapid industrialisation and development. The other is Ang Mo Kio Division, which was formed through the merger of two divisions in 1949. Both Divisions served a residential population of more than two million people, and covered a larger land area than all the other land divisions combined.

 

4.  However, as our population increased, the population centres shifted. The northern part of Singapore in particular, has seen a very strong growth in the number of residents and businesses in recent years. We now have many other projects in the area, such as Woodlands Regional Centre, and the whole place has become much more vibrant and bustling.

 

5.  In that sense, the opening of this new divisional HQ in Woodlands is both warranted and timely. It enhances the command and control for frontline policing in this area, reduces the travel time for Police to arrive in this region, and really sites the SPF in the community, and has thus improved convenience for all. Members of public no longer have to travel to the Division HQs in Jurong or Ang Mo Kio to meet investigation officers for updates on their cases.

 

New Headquarters

 

6.  The new headquarters has been designed in a very future-centric way - the Police’s needs, public’s needs, and security needs, in a changed security environment - is very much front and centre in the design itself. It is really quite modern. It has been awarded the Green Mark Platinum Award by the Building and Construction Authority for its sustainable designs and practices.

 

7.  For those of you who have had a tour, or will be given a tour, you will see that the building is designed to provide efficient services to the public, and at the same time give some degree of privacy, when they have to lodge Police reports or assist in investigations.

 

Serving the Public Better

 

8.  There are self-help kiosks for people to lodge Police reports, as well as traffic accident and lost property reports. They don’t have to wait for manned counters to become available, unless they prefer to talk to someone. There are drop boxes, so that people can register and deposit items they have found, and frontline counters which are redesigned to offer more privacy to people who are talking to officers.

 

9.  These are just some examples. New systems and technologies will continue to be deployed. We will be introducing these features in other NPCs and Police Posts as well.

 

Transforming the SPF

 

10.  I was taken for a tour, and given a demonstration of the new systems deployed. Crucially, we have to help our officers do their work well. The manual and paper-based investigative processes – many of them are being digitised. They are putting in systems to help our officers, and one is a centralised system to conduct one-stop screenings across all of SPF’s databases. Instead of screening each system separately, which takes a huge amount of time, and is really a waste of time, I am told that screening can take 5 minutes now, compared with up to 20 minutes in the past.

 

Conclusion

 

11.  Woodlands Division, and the opening of this new building, is another important milestone in SPF’s strategy. I would like to congratulate the men and women of this Division on this special occasion. But really, more than any physical infrastructure, it is really the spirit of professionalism of our SPF officers that is critical.

 

12.  I am confident that all the officers of Woodlands Division will continue to serve with Courage, Loyalty, Integrity, and Fairness. Thank you to everyone for your commitment and effort to keep Singapore safe and secure.

 

13.  It now gives me great pleasure to declare Woodlands Division, officially open.

 

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