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Singapore Launches Defense Emergency Video System


Like in business and other aspects, the future of crime fighting will be heavily influenced by technological advancements. Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), automation, augmented reality, big data, and all the other most significant trends observed in other industries are equally impacting policing.

In Singapore, an Emergency Video System uses technology that is already on mobile phones. This lets people who call ‘999’ or ‘995’ tell the Singapore Police Force (SPF) and Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) Operations Centres where the incident is happening and what it looks like.

This ability will make it much easier for SPF and SCDF Operations Centres, as well as first responders, to assess the situation and make decisions. With these technologies, police officers and intelligence agencies have more tools than ever before to stop crime and keep citizens safe. As criminals become more inventive in their own use of technology and data, SPF and SCDF also help combat the emergence of new types of crime.

The Police Operations Command Centre (POCC) and the SCDF Operations Centre will both be able to use the Emergency Video System. Hence, officers at the POCC and SCDF Operations Centre may encounter difficulties understanding the incident situation during emergency calls, particularly in complex and dynamic situations where the caller may be incapable to convey the extent of the situation.

The Emergency Video System supplemented the Home Team’s emergency call response by allowing SPF and SCDF officers at the respective Operations Centres to start live video streaming from the caller’s mobile phone to assist in decision-making and situational assessment.

Callers would also be able to share their real-time location with SPF and SCDF officers via the system, which would aid in the subsequent emergency response. Collaborations have emerged with other institutions to develop this new capability.

Additionally, where a live stream would be beneficial for a ‘999’ or ‘995’ incident, the Operations Centre will activate the Emergency Video System. The caller will give the operator permission to activate the live video stream from a safe location.

An SMS with a link will then be sent to the caller. By tapping on the hyperlink, the caller’s mobile phone’s web browser will be used to stream live footage of the incident, without the need to install any new applications. At the same time, the system will transmit the caller’s location to the Operations Centre, facilitating front-line emergency response.

During the live video streaming, the caller should stay on the ‘999’ or ‘995’ line while officers in the Operations Centre can talk to the caller over the phone while keeping an eye on the video feed.

Before responding officers arrive at the incident site, the Emergency Video System will provide SCDF and SPF with an additional means of triaging and sense-making. This will also help responding forces prepare for the incident while they are on their way to the scene. When both the SPF and the SCDF are responding to a major emergency, such as a major fire, they may use the same live stream.

By allowing organisations to respond to criminal activity in real-time, new digital technologies are transforming the way police protect and serve the public. It is crucial to stay up-to-date on technological advancements that can assist law enforcement on a global scale and to implement these advancements as they see fit in any given environment.


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