Body Worn Video Steering Group
As of January 30th 2015, front-line police officers in Singapore’s Bukit Merah West Neighbourhood Police Centre (NPC) will use body cameras whilst on patrol. They are the first of several NPC’s of which the cameras will be rolled out over the coming months, with a fully implemented program expected by June next year.
Last year Second Home Affairs Minister S Iswaran had said the experience of police forces using body cameras, such as in the United Kingdom and Canada, indicates that the equipment is “useful in deterring crime, calming rowdy members of the public and providing valuable investigative leads”.
The Committee of Inquiry on the Little India riot had also highlighted that such body cameras, in addition to closed-circuit cameras and police in-vehicle cameras, would have helped the police better see what was happening on the ground and improve overall command and control.
On concerns about body cameras and privacy issues, the police said yesterday that officers will have the discretion to stop recording in certain situations, such as when they are dealing with victims of sexual offences. Strict safeguards and limits have also been put in place on the use of the camera footage, they added.
“The footage will be deleted after 31 days from the date of recording, unless it is required for official use such as police investigations.”
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations) Lau Peet Meng said of the deployment: “The body-worn camera will facilitate Police investigations and the gathering of evidence. It will complement existing forensic methods to allow the Police to piece together what actually happened at an incident.”