With a view to understand how effective the Police has been to get community assistance for crime prevention measures, I sought from the Minister for Home Affairs recruitment data concerning Citizens on Patrol from 2018 to date. The data provided reveals that there is a significant drop in recruitment numbers between 2021 and 2022. I intend to raise this issue as part of my COS 2024 speech dealing with Police manpower issues. My parliamentary question and Minister Shanmugam’s response are set out below.
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Mr Murali Pillai asked the Minister for Home Affairs how many persons have been recruited to join the Citizens on Patrol scheme for each year since 2018.
Mr K Shanmugam: Volunteers on the Citizens on Patrol (COP) scheme patrol their community and neighbourhoods and alert the Police when they observe suspicious activities or persons. They also engage the community on crime prevention measures.
The Singapore Police Force (SPF) started tracking the annual COP recruitment numbers only from 2019 onwards. The numbers are in Table 1.
The SPF run COP recruitment booths at events such as the Police Community Roadshows and the Home Team Festival. The SPF have also launched their volunteer recruitment campaign in October 2023, which showcases various volunteering opportunities available in the SPF.
Members of the public who are interested in signing up as a COP volunteer may refer to the SPF website at https://www.police.gov.sg/Join-SPF/Volunteer-Schemes/Citizens-on-Patrol-COP for further information.