Saturday 24 May 2014

Safe and Secure Singapore - Addenda to President’s Address 2014

Police going for digital traffic cameras
240 high-tech sets will be installed around island by June next year
By Hoe Pei Shan, The Straits Times, 23 May 2014

THE police are replacing their old-school red light cameras, which use film, with modern digital ones.

They have put in an order - worth several million dollars - with a German company for 240 sets of these 11 megapixel cameras, which can take sharper images and be able to pick out offenders in multiple lanes at intersections.

The cameras will also allow the police to download the pictures remotely instead of having to retrieve and process the film.

It was reported in December that the 240 cameras at traffic junctions islandwide will be replaced by new digital ones, which will be operational at all times and have enhanced capabilities to better identify vehicles that run red lights.

"By the first half of 2015, there will be some 240 digital red light and speed cameras installed islandwide," said a police spokesman.

The new digital cameras are part of efforts to address the growing number of traffic violations. According to Traffic Police statistics, there were 367,496 violations last year, about 11 per cent more than the 332,206 in 2012.

Among these, speeding violations continued to make up the largest portion, and red-light offences came in second.

Upgrading and acquiring new technological capabilities are key to expanding and sharpening the Home Team's abilities, said the Prime Minister's Office in an addenda to the President's Address released yesterday.

Such initiatives include body-worn cameras for police officers and cameras in all Housing Board blocks by 2016.

The order for the new traffic cameras, which were tested here last year, was announced by German traffic solutions manufacturer Jenoptik earlier this week.

According to the company's press officer and head of communications and marketing Britta Schell, the 240 sets, which can be operated via remote control, cost somewhere "in the mid single-digit million range" in euros.

This covers the delivery, installation and commissioning of the systems, as well as the supply of office software for "efficient and secure incident processing and adjudication".

Delivery of the cameras has already begun and is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

Ms Schell also said that her company has submitted a bid for another Singapore police tender for speed cameras that has yet to conclude.

Drivers can be dealt a fine and 12 demerit points for beating a red light. Two such offences within 24 months will result in a licence suspension.

"It's an excellent idea, and the digital camera is a much better deterrent for motorists because with the current film ones, when the film runs out, you may miss offenders," said retired police officer and private investigator Lionel de Souza, who also runs a security agency.

"I think we can expect the number of offenders caught to go up initially, and then fewer people will try to beat traffic lights," he added.

5 things to know from Day 4 of the Addenda to President's address
The Straits Times, 22 May 2014

President Tony Tan Keng Yam opened the new session of Parliament last Friday, mapping out the Government's priorities and policies for the rest of the term.

For a week starting from Monday, the ministries will unveil their respective plans in public statements, known as Addenda to the President's Address. After that, Parliament will sit, for a week, to debate these plans.

We summarise 5 keys things to know from Day 4 which focused on the theme "Safe and Secure Singapore":

Strong defence critical for a safe and secure Singapore: Govt
Channel NewsAsia, 22 May 2014

A strong defence that is capable of dealing with threats – both external and at home – is fundamental to ensuring Singapore’s safety, the Government said on Thursday (May 22).

In an addenda statement to President Tony Tan Keng Yam's address in Parliament last Friday, the Government said that the nation must “continue to invest and build capabilities for a strong and capable Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), an effective Home Team, and a top-notch Foreign Service”. 

To strengthen the SAF’s capabilities, the Ministry of Defence said it will continue to make “steady and prudent” investments in advanced technologies. In the pipeline are upgrades to Singapore’s fleet of F-16 fighter jets, and the acquisition of A330 Multi-role Tanker Transport aircraft, two Type-218SG submarines, and another two Sikorsky S-70B Naval Helicopters over the next five years.

Improvements will be made to the National Service (NS) system, starting with a slew of recommendations from the Committee to Strengthen NS. These include more incentives for passing the Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT), longer windows for remedial training (RT) and additional Medisave grants at NS milestones.

To safeguard and advance the nation’s interests abroad, the Ministry of Foreign Affairssaid it will continue contributing to ASEAN’s regional integration efforts. Equally important is maintaining good relations and increasing bilateral cooperation with Singapore’s immediate neighbours, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei, the ministry said.

The ministry will also focus on expanding links with Singapore’s key partners such as the United States, China, Japan, Australia, India and the European Union, while identifying emerging opportunities in new markets.

On the home front, the Ministry of Home Affairs plans to increase community policing to prevent and deter crime. A new Police Divisional Headquarters and two Neighbourhood Police Centres will be established, and Neighbourhood Police Posts will be revamped to provide round-the-clock electronic services to the public.

More technologies will be employed to keep neighbourhoods safe, according to the ministry. Close-circuit cameras will be installed in all Housing and Development Board blocks by 2016, and the police will also pilot the use of body-worn cameras.

To clear heavy flows of people and vehicles at land checkpoints more efficiently, theImmigration and Checkpoints Authority of Singapore will introduce a new generation of biometric passports, and expand the use of biometrics and automation, the ministry said.

Beyond the improvement of processes and infrastructure, the Government said the key to security was unity among Singaporeans.

“A more diverse society and more strident advocacy on divisive issues that impact on religion, race and social values may create tensions and affect social harmony. To meet these challenges and stay safe and secure, we must stay united as one people.”

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