Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

More than 4,900 cases solved with the assistance of police cameras: Shanmugam

SINGAPORE — Police cameras had assisted in solving more than 4,900 cases as of last December, Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam said on Monday (March 1).

Police have installed nearly 90,000 cameras in public spaces such as Housing and Development Board estates.

Police have installed nearly 90,000 cameras in public spaces such as Housing and Development Board estates.

SINGAPORE — Police cameras had assisted in solving more than 4,900 cases as of last December, Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam said on Monday (March 1).

Speaking in Parliament, he said that police have installed almost 90,000 cameras in major public locations such as Housing and Development Board estates, neighbourhood centres and car parks so far, noting that the public welcomes this move.

“I promise that many more cameras will be installed across the island, subject to the budgetary situation,” Mr Shanmugam said during a debate on the Ministry of Home Affairs’ budget for the year.

He added that surveys have shown that people feel safer with the prominent placement of police cameras in their neighbourhoods.

In response to Mr Shanmugam, Leader of the Opposition Pritam Singh said that he supported the use of technology as it helped the police with their work.

But Mr Singh, who is Member of Parliament for Aljunied Group Representation Constituency, added: “What I would caution as I have done before in other speeches is to restate how the algorithms behind some of these cameras actually are managed and guarded.

“Because if that information leaks, if it goes out, I think it can damage public confidence in some of this technology that the Home Team seeks to introduce.”

Mr Shanmugam said that he took Mr Pritam’s point “entirely” that information obtained from the cameras should be “used properly”.

“For example, ICA (Immigration and Checkpoints Authority) has a lot of information (such as) IC registration, travel (history),” he said. “And we need to make sure that that information is used properly, and not given to unauthorised persons.”

However, he said the topic of cameras raised questions of privacy.

“It's no one's business to know what is said to your wife or your son or to your friend at your home,” Mr Shanmugam said. “But I think sometimes there is confusion.”

He said that if the police are investigating a crime, then they will be entitled to “come to your house and ask what you said”, if it pertains to the investigation.

“And you are duty bound to say it, and you can't say (it is) my right of privacy,” he said.

Therefore, if an individual “did something” in a public place, the police are entitled to investigate the person and ask what he or she has done, and then take the evidence to court if necessary, he said.

“The camera, to some extent, either short circuits or supplements that approach… and that is why the vast majority of the public actually welcomes these cameras.”

Related topics

SPF K Shanmugam police camera

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.