Law enforcement in Singapore

Law enforcement in Singapore comes under a number of law enforcement agencies, led by the Singapore Police Force as the national police agency. Assisting the police are a range of governmental and private sector organisations and companies that engage in specialised roles and allow the police to concentrate on their main public policing roles. In addition, the strong emphasis on community policing since the 1980s has attempted to promote a culture in which civilians can partake and contribute directly in law enforcement efforts.

Police forcesEdit

Singapore Police ForceEdit

The Singapore Police Force is the main government agency tasked with maintaining law and order in the city-state.[1] The organisation structure of the SPF is split between the staff and line functions, roughly modelled after the military. There are currently 17 staff departments, 3 specialist staff departments and 16 specialist and line units. The headquarters is located in a block at New Phoenix Park in Novena, adjacent to a twin block occupied by the Ministry of Home Affairs

Auxiliary police forcesEdit

Singapore also makes use of auxiliary police forces, private companies with auxiliary police officers granted police-like powers and law enforcement authority, and are typically employed for infrastructure security and cash-in-transit protection. There are currently five auxiliary police forces in Singapore:[2]


Apart from the Singapore Police Force, other government agencies that also enforce specific laws are as follows:

Corrupt Practices Investigation BureauEdit

The Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) is a government agency in Singapore which investigates and prosecutes corruption in the public and private sectors. Although the primary function is to investigate corruption, it is empowered to investigate other criminal cases in which corruption may be involved.

Under the purview of the Prime Minister's Office, the CPIB is headed by a director who reports directly to the Prime Minister. The CPIB is therefore independent from the Singapore Police Force and other government agencies to prevent any undue interference in its investigations.

Immigration and Checkpoints AuthorityEdit

The ICA is in charge of immigration, Singapore passports, identity cards, Citizen Registration (Birth and Death), permanent residents services, customs, issuing permits to foreigners such as visit pass, visas and student passes.

The ICA is also in charge of enforcing immigration and visa laws. It ensures that the movement of people, goods and conveyances through the checkpoints is in accordance with regulations imposed by the Ministry of Home Affairs. It is in charge of birth and death registrations. The organisation was formed on 1 April 2003 with the merger of Singapore Immigration and Registration and the border control functions of Customs and Excise Department.

Internal Security DepartmentEdit

The Internal Security Department (Abbreviation: ISD) is a domestic intelligence agency of the Ministry of Home Affairs of Singapore. It was formerly part of the Ministry of Interior and Defence until it was split on 11 August 1970. It has the utmost right to detain without trial individuals suspected to be a threat to national security.

The stated mission is to confront and address security threats, including foreign subversion and espionage. The ISD also monitors and addresses the prevention of racial tension which might affect the public peace, surveillance, apprehension of militants and protection of Singapore's national borders.

Singapore CustomsEdit

Singapore Customs takes care of the following:

  • collection of customs revenue;
  • protection of customs revenue by preventing the evasion of duties and taxes;
  • provision of one-stop solutions for trade and customs matters, such as issuance of permits, licences and Certificates of Origin, and provision of classification and valuation advice;
  • facilitation of trade through simplification of customs procedures and administration of tax suspension schemes;
  • enforcement of trade requirements under the respective Free Trade Agreements (FTAs);
  • regulation of trade in strategic goods and strategic goods technology; and
  • enforcement against the illegal buying and selling of duty-unpaid cigarettes.

Singapore Armed Forces Military Police CommandEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Singapore PUBLIC ORDER AND INTERNAL SECURITY – Flags, Maps, Economy, History, Climate, Natural Resources, Current Issues, International Agreements, Population, Social Statistics, Political System
  2. ^ "Auxiliary Police Forces". Supplementary Legislation No. 992 of 12 May 1961.