MHA puts up tender for body cameras

Police officers will wear on-body cameras like this one on the front of their shirts as part of a pilot project to boost front-line policing from the middle of 2014. It will document the police officers behaviours and ensure they follow proper protocol.

SINGAPORE - Police officers are to wear body cameras that are "high definition", "lightweight" and "weatherproof", a tender issued by the Ministry for Home Affairs has revealed.

Second Minister for Home Affairs S. Iswaran announced in Parliament last week that body cameras would be piloted from the middle of the year in a project to boost front- line policing.

Details of their desired specifications feature in tender documents for video surveillance systems for the Singapore Police Force, which were published on government procurement website GeBiz. These systems include 750 wearable body cameras.

According to the documents, the cameras must support audio and video recordings and deliver colour videos in high definition, even in low-light conditions.

They must also be weatherproof and operable in temperatures between -10 and 50 deg C. They must be no heavier than 160g and use portable rechargeable batteries as a main power source. Each battery is expected to support at least two hours of continuous audio and video recording, and each camera is expected to store at least 12 hours of footage.

The tender also called for 35 sets of the camera's management system, which must have security features such as encryption capabilities to "prevent unauthorised editing, tampering or deletion of saved video images".

The Straits Times understands the cameras will be worn on the front of an officer's shirt, though the tender also suggests they may be "head worn" and attachable to vehicle windscreens and dashboards.

They must have a wide field of view of 60 degrees or more, and be able to capture the face to waist of a person standing an arm's length away.

The tender includes other surveillance gear, such as cameras that can fit on rooftop sites, backpacks and heavy motor vehicles. A police spokesman said these systems are "required to provide a comprehensive coverage to assist in incident management and post incident investigation". He added that they will be installed in the second half of this year.

Mr Iswaran said last week that body cameras have helped to deter crime and provide investigative leads in other countries.

The tender was put up last Friday and suppliers have until 4pm on April 1 to submit applications.

It comes amid a wider push by the police to harness technology. Cameras have been installed in more than 2,000 HDB blocks and multi-storey carparks.


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