Police tap technology to fight crime

Police tap technology to fight crime
New police devices to be rolled out
The in-vehicle video recording system records in high definition throughout a full 12-hour shift, with video stored on the device’s memory card.

SINGAPORE - The police unveiled devices designed to help the force put more eyes on the ground last Friday, as part of a plan to tap technology to keep crime at bay, without the need for more manpower.

The gadgets include cameras mounted on police fast-response cars and worn by officers to record patrols and when they attend to emergency 999 cases.

There are also plans to install closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras at all HDB blocks. Video footage recovered from the cameras has so far helped the police nab suspects, from rioters and molesters to loan shark runners.

Last Tuesday, an unemployed man was charged with the murder of an elderly woman at the lift of a Choa Chu Kang housing block. Police said the suspect was nabbed with the help of CCTV footage.

"The success of these cameras (in cracking cases, such as of harassment in unlicensed moneylending offences) led to the decision to deploy police cameras comprehensively to provide round-the-clock deterrence and rapid follow-up for investigation," said Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, guest of honour at the annual Police Workplan Seminar last Friday.

Here are how the new devices work.

In-vehicle video recording system

The current model records 156 degrees in front of the car, and 140 degrees towards the back. Police are aiming eventually for 360-degree coverage through the use of multiple cameras.

The new model records in high definition throughout a full 12-hour shift, with video stored on the device's memory card. In future, police plan to have live-streaming capability from the central operations rooms.

Officers can play back clips from inside the vehicle using the unit's LCD screen. Police said protocols are in place to prevent the footage from being tampered with.

The model will be rolled out in police fast-response cars islandwide starting next month, with all such cars to be equipped by the middle of next year.

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