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Singapore-Organization, Recruitment, and Training of Police

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Singapore Index

In 1989 Singapore's police force had 7,000 constables and inspectors, 3,000 national service conscripts, and 2,000 volunteers. The commissioner of police was responsible for law enforcement in all civil jurisdictions of the country. He was assisted by deputy commissioners for administration, civil defense, operations, and planning (see fig. 16). Two auxiliary police organizations employed an additional 2,300 persons trained to provide security for the Port of Singapore and private businesses. The Port of Singapore police with 300 personnel in 1989, was delegated responsibility for maintaining law and order on the docks, checking cargo manifests, and inspecting vessels that were suspected of having contraband. The other auxiliary police force was the Commercial and Industrial Security Corporation, which was operated as a public service under the control of the minister for home affairs. The corporation was established in 1972 to relieve regular police from routine security and escort duties for private businesses. The 2,000 security personnel employed by the corporation were delegated the same powers and immunities as police officers in the course of their duties. The Commercial and Industrial Security Corporation was the only civilian security organization whose personnel were authorized to carry firearms.

The deputy commissioner for operations of the police force was responsible for overseeing two commands and four departments. The main island was divided into ten police divisions, which, along with the airport police division, came under the Area Command. The one other command, known as the Detachments Command, comprised police units responsible for counterterrorism, crowd management, protection of government officials, and the marine police. Two police task forces, with probably fewer than 200 specially trained officers, had replaced the police reserve units of the 1960s. Counterterrorist operations most likely would be conducted by elite units belonging to one of the task forces in coordination with army commandos and other units taken from the police and armed forces. A 700-member Gurkha unit was responsible for prison security and for supporting the police task force in the event that a civil disturbance got out of control. The British-trained Gurkhas, recruited in Nepal, had been employed by the police since 1949. The four departments under the control of the deputry commissioner for operations had jurisdiction over crime prevention, criminal investigation, traffic control, and the special constabulary, which included an estimated 2,000 volunteer constables who were trained to assist the regular police in patrolling residential neighborhoods.

The three other deputy commissioners were responsible for administration, planning, and civil defense. The deputy commissioner for administration managed recruitment, training, and logistics and was responsible for the National Police Cadet Corps, a student organization that in the late 1980s had more than 20,000 members and units in 129 secondary schools located throughout Singapore. The deputy commissioner for planning was responsible for research and force development and proposed plans for the purchase of state-of-the-art equipment and the introduction of new law enforcement tactics to improve the efficiency of the police force. The deputy commissioner for civil defense was in charge of civil defense planning and civil defense organizations (see Civil Defense , this ch.).

Police personnel primarily were recruited from among high school graduates who were interested in law enforcement as a career. The professional force was augmented, as necessary, with national service conscripts and volunteers. In 1989 women comprised 15 percent of the force and were employed in all occupational fields. The high number of students interested in belonging to the National Police Cadet Corps provided the police with a large pool of potential recruits. Police recruits were required to be high school graduates without a criminal record and to be in excellent physical condition. Officers selected for promotion to senior grades had to be approved by the Public Service Commission. There were ten senior-grade levels: inspector, four grades of superintendents, and five grades of commissioners. Basic and advanced training for recruits and national service conscripts was provided at the Police Academy. Selected officers were awarded scholarships to attend local universities and to take courses in other countries. The six-month basic course for recruits emphasized legal procedures, police station and field operations, use of weapons, dealing with the public, and physical fitness. National service conscripts were given a three-month basic course, but with less emphasis on legal procedures. Most divisions of the areas and detachments commands selected from within to fill vacant billets for corporals, sergeants, and higher level positions. Officers were encouraged to enroll in career development courses that were devoted to such subjects as crisis management, community relations, crime investigation, and interrogation techniques. Exceptional junior officers received merit scholarships to the National University of Singapore to study management and other disciplines needed by the force. Senior officers were required to travel overseas for training to broaden their understanding of law enforcement practices in other countries. Some of the foreign schools attended were the Police Staff College in Britain, the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy in the United States, and the Police Academy in Japan.

Data as of December 1989

BackgroundSingapore was founded as a British trading colony in 1819. It joined the Malaysian Federation in 1963 but separated two years later and became independent. Singapore subsequently became one of the world's most prosperous countries with strong international trading links (its port is one of the world's busiest in terms of tonnage handled) and with per capita GDP equal to that of the leading nations of Western Europe.
LocationSoutheastern Asia, islands between Malaysia and Indonesia
Area(sq km)total: 697 sq km
land: 687 sq km
water: 10 sq km
Geographic coordinates1 22 N, 103 48 E
Land boundaries(km)0 km

Coastline(km)193 km

Climatetropical; hot, humid, rainy; two distinct monsoon seasons - Northeastern monsoon (December to March) and Southwestern monsoon (June to September); inter-monsoon - frequent afternoon and early evening thunderstorms

Elevation extremes(m)lowest point: Singapore Strait 0 m
highest point: Bukit Timah 166 m
Natural resourcesfish, deepwater ports
Land use(%)arable land: 1.47%
permanent crops: 1.47%
other: 97.06% (2005)

Irrigated land(sq km)NA
Total renewable water resources(cu km)0.6 cu km (1975)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)total: 0.19 cu km/yr (45%/51%/4%)
per capita: 44 cu m/yr (1975)
Natural hazardsNA
Environment - current issuesindustrial pollution; limited natural fresh water resources; limited land availability presents waste disposal problems; seasonal smoke/haze resulting from forest fires in Indonesia
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - notefocal point for Southeast Asian sea routes
Population4,657,542 (July 2009 est.)
Age structure(%)0-14 years: 14.4% (male 348,382/female 324,050)
15-64 years: 76.7% (male 1,737,972/female 1,833,415)
65 years and over: 8.9% (male 184,393/female 229,330) (2009 est.)
Median age(years)total: 39 years
male: 38.5 years
female: 39.4 years (2009 est.)
Population growth rate(%)0.998% (2009 est.)
Birth rate(births/1,000 population)8.82 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
Death rate(deaths/1,000 population)4.66 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)

Net migration rate(migrant(s)/1,000 population)5.82 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
Urbanization(%)urban population: 100% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 1.2% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
Sex ratio(male(s)/female)at birth: 1.08 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.08 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
Infant mortality rate(deaths/1,000 live births)total: 2.31 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 2.51 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 2.09 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)

Life expectancy at birth(years)total population: 81.98 years
male: 79.37 years
female: 84.78 years (2009 est.)

Total fertility rate(children born/woman)1.09 children born/woman (2009 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Singaporean(s)
adjective: Singapore
Ethnic groups(%)Chinese 76.8%, Malay 13.9%, Indian 7.9%, other 1.4% (2000 census)

Religions(%)Buddhist 42.5%, Muslim 14.9%, Taoist 8.5%, Hindu 4%, Catholic 4.8%, other Christian 9.8%, other 0.7%, none 14.8% (2000 census)
Languages(%)Mandarin 35%, English 23%, Malay 14.1%, Hokkien 11.4%, Cantonese 5.7%, Teochew 4.9%, Tamil 3.2%, other Chinese dialects 1.8%, other 0.9% (2000 census)

Country nameconventional long form: Republic of Singapore
conventional short form: Singapore
local long form: Republic of Singapore
local short form: Singapore
Government typeparliamentary republic
Capitalname: Singapore
geographic coordinates: 1 17 N, 103 51 E
time difference: UTC+8 (13 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisionsnone
Constitution3 June 1959; amended 1965 (based on pre-independence State of Singapore Constitution)

Legal systembased on English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage21 years of age; universal and compulsory
Executive branchchief of state: President S R NATHAN (since 1 September 1999)
note: uses S R NATHAN but his full name and the one used in formal communications is Sellapan RAMANATHAN
head of government: Prime Minister LEE Hsien Loong (since 12 August 2004); Senior Minister GOH Chok Tong (since 12 August 2004); Senior Minister Shunmugam JAYAKUMAR (since 1 April 2009); Minister Mentor LEE Kuan Yew (since 12 August 2004); Deputy Prime Minister TEO Chee Huan (since 1 April 2009) and Deputy Prime Minister WONG Kan Seng (since 1 September 2005)
cabinet: appointed by president, responsible to parliament
elections: president elected by popular vote for six-year term; appointed on 17 August 2005 (next election to be held by August 2011); following legislative elections, leader of majority party or leader of majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by president; deputy prime ministers appointed by president
election results: Sellapan Rama (S R) NATHAN appointed president in August 2005 after Presidential Elections Committee disqualified three other would-be candidates; scheduled election not held
Legislative branchunicameral Parliament (84 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms); note - in addition, there are up to nine nominated members; up to three losing opposition candidates who came closest to winning seats may be appointed as "nonconstituency" members
elections: last held on 6 May 2006 (next to be held by 2011)
election results: percent of vote by party - PAP 66.6%, WP 16.3%, SDA 13%, SDP 4.1%; seats by party - PAP 82, WP 1, SDA 1

Judicial branchSupreme Court (chief justice is appointed by the president with the advice of the prime minister, other judges are appointed by the president with the advice of the chief justice); Court of Appeals

Political pressure groups and leadersnone
Flag descriptiontwo equal horizontal bands of red (top) and white; near the hoist side of the red band, there is a vertical, white crescent (closed portion is toward the hoist side) partially enclosing five white five-pointed stars arranged in a circle

Economy - overviewSingapore has a highly developed and successful free-market economy. It enjoys a remarkably open and corruption-free environment, stable prices, and a per capita GDP higher than that of most developed countries. The economy depends heavily on exports, particularly in consumer electronics, information technology products, pharmaceuticals, and on a growing service sector. Real GDP growth averaged 7% between 2004 and 2007, but dropped to 1.1% in 2008 as a result of the global financial crisis. The economy contracted in the last three quarters of 2008. Prime Minister LEE and other senior officials have dampened expectations for a quick rebound in 2009. Over the longer term, the government hopes to establish a new growth path that will be less vulnerable to global demand cycles especially for information technology products. It has attracted major investments in pharmaceuticals and medical technology production and will continue efforts to establish Singapore as Southeast Asia's financial and high-tech hub.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$237.9 billion (2008 est.)
$235.3 billion (2007 est.)
$218.3 billion (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$181.9 billion (2008 est.)
GDP - real growth rate(%)1.1% (2008 est.)
7.8% (2007 est.)
8.4% (2006 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$51,600 (2008 est.)
$51,700 (2007 est.)
$48,600 (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
GDP - composition by sector(%)agriculture: 0%
industry: 27.8%
services: 72.2% (2008 est.)
Labor force2.94 million (2008 est.)

Labor force - by occupation(%)agriculture 0%, industry 22.6%, services 77.4% (2007)
Unemployment rate(%)2.2% (2008 est.)
2.1% (2007 est.)
Population below poverty line(%)NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share(%)lowest 10%: 4.4%
highest 10%: 23.2% (2008)
Distribution of family income - Gini index48.1 (2008)
Investment (gross fixed)(% of GDP)28.5% of GDP (2008 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $29.25 billion
expenditures: $26.48 billion (2008 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)(%)6.5% (2008 est.)
2.1% (2007 est.)

Stock of money$52.57 billion (31 December 2008)
$44.4 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of quasi money$179 billion (31 December 2008)
$162.2 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of domestic credit$143.6 billion (31 December 2008)
$129.2 billion (31 December 2007)
Market value of publicly traded shares$268.6 billion (31 December 2008)
$353.5 billion (31 December 2007)
$276.3 billion (31 December 2006)
Economic aid - recipient$0 (2007)

Public debt(% of GDP)99.2% of GDP (2008 est.)
102.5% of GDP (2004 est.)
Agriculture - productsorchids, vegetables; poultry, eggs; fish, ornamental fish
Industrieselectronics, chemicals, financial services, oil drilling equipment, petroleum refining, rubber processing and rubber products, processed food and beverages, ship repair, offshore platform construction, life sciences, entrepot trade

Industrial production growth rate(%)-0.8% (2008 est.)

Current account balance$25.78 billion (2008 est.)
$39.11 billion (2007 est.)
Exports$342.7 billion (2008 est.)
$303.1 billion (2007 est.)

Exports - commodities(%)machinery and equipment (including electronics), consumer goods, pharmaceuticals and other chemicals, mineral fuels
Exports - partners(%)Malaysia 12.1%, Indonesia 10.5%, Hong Kong 10.3%, China 9.2%, US 7.1%, Japan 4.9%, Australia 4.1% (2008)
Imports$309.6 billion (2008 est.)
$254 billion (2007 est.)

Imports - commodities(%)machinery and equipment, mineral fuels, chemicals, foodstuffs, consumer goods
Imports - partners(%)Malaysia 11.9%, US 11.8%, China 10.5%, Japan 8.1%, South Korea 5.6%, Indonesia 5.5%, Saudi Arabia 4.6% (2008)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$174.2 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
$163 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external$25.52 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
$25.59 billion (31 December 2007 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$250.2 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
$232.8 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$173.6 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
$169.9 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Exchange ratesSingapore dollars (SGD) per US dollar - 1.415 (2008 est.), 1.507 (2007), 1.5889 (2006), 1.6644 (2005), 1.6902 (2004)

Currency (code)Singapore dollar (SGD)

Telephones - main lines in use1.857 million (2008)
Telephones - mobile cellular6.375 million (2008)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: excellent service
domestic: excellent domestic facilities; launched 3G wireless service in February 2005; combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity is nearly 175 telephones per 100 persons
international: country code - 65; numerous submarine cables provide links throughout Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Europe, and US; satellite earth stations -4; supplemented by VSAT coverage (2008)
Internet country code.sg
Internet users3.37 million (2008)
Airports8 (2009)
Pipelines(km)gas 106 km (2008)
Roadways(km)total: 3,297 km
paved: 3,297 km (includes 150 km of expressways) (2007)

Ports and terminalsSingapore
Military branchesSingapore Armed Forces: Army, Navy, Air Force (includes Air Defense) (2009)
Military service age and obligation(years of age)18-21 years of age for male compulsory military service; 16 years of age for volunteers; 2-year conscript service obligation, with a reserve obligation to age 40 (enlisted) or age 50 (officers) (2008)
Manpower available for military servicemales age 16-49: 1,277,862 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military servicemales age 16-49: 1,033,961
females age 16-49: 1,104,952 (2009 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annuallymale: 27,715
female: 26,290 (2009 est.)
Military expenditures(% of GDP)4.9% of GDP (2005 est.)
Disputes - internationaldisputes persist with Malaysia over deliveries of fresh water to Singapore, Singapore's extensive land reclamation works, bridge construction, and maritime boundaries in the Johor and Singapore Straits; in November 2007, the ICJ will hold public hearings as a consequence of the Memorials and Countermemorials filed by the parties in 2003 and 2005 over sovereignty of Pedra Branca Island/Pulau Batu Puteh, Middle Rocks and South Ledge; Indonesia and Singapore continue to work on finalization of their 1973 maritime boundary agreement by defining unresolved areas north of Indonesia's Batam Island; piracy remains a problem in the Malacca Strait

Electricity - production(kWh)38.67 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - production by source(%)fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption(kWh)36.6 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - exports(kWh)0 kWh (2008 est.)
Electricity - imports(kWh)0 kWh (2008 est.)
Oil - production(bbl/day)8,553 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Oil - consumption(bbl/day)896,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Oil - exports(bbl/day)1.289 million bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - imports(bbl/day)2.109 million bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - proved reserves(bbl)0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
Natural gas - production(cu m)0 cu m (2008 est.)
Natural gas - consumption(cu m)8.27 billion cu m (2008 est.)
Natural gas - exports(cu m)0 cu m (2008)
Natural gas - proved reserves(cu m)0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate(%)0.2% (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS4,200 (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deathsfewer than 200 (2007 est.)
Literacy(%)definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 92.5%
male: 96.6%
female: 88.6% (2000 census)

Education expenditures(% of GDP)3.7% of GDP (2001)

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