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Cybercrime A Key Concern For Singapore's Progressive Police Force

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In a seminar themed ‘A Force for the Nation”, Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister for Singapore, Mr Teo Chee Hean, addressed the Commissioner of the Singapore Police, Mr Ng Joo-Hee, guests and officers of the Singapore Police Force at the Police Workplan seminar on Tuesday to emphasize the shifting pattern of crime facing law enforcers.

Mr Teo Chee Hean praised the work of the highly professional police force in Singapore in keeping crime under control and establishing a strong relationship of trust with the public. He added that the safety and security enjoyed in Singapore formed the bedrock of the continued national success.

Confidence in the future of Singapore as a trusted hub is shared by others as demonstrated by INTERPOL in selecting Singapore as its choice of location for the new the INTERPOL Global Complex (IGC) due to open in 2013. The complex will act as a complementary global central facility to the Interpol Headquarters currently located in Lyon, France and will house around 300 staff including law enforcement officers seconded from police forces of Interpol member countries, and staff directly employed by Interpol. Singapore was identified for its significant number of multinational corporations, its established culture in research and development and pool of highly skilled talent.

In his speech, Mr Chee-Hean outlined three key areas that posed the greatest challenges for the immediate future: loansharks, commercial crimes and IT security. Of particular concern, the Deputy Prime Minister pointed out was weakness in IT systems with governments worldwide now aware of the potential harm that can be caused. Mr Chee-Hean recommended the introduction of a comprehensive plan to ensure that government, business and individuals take appropriate steps to counter the problem of vulnerability to cyber-crime.

The exploitation of technology provides the common thread between the key areas of concern, Mr Chee-Hean continued, seen in, for example, trans-national syndicates using the Internet to direct activities across borders, making detection and apprehension more difficult. This extends to hiding large sums of money across multiple jurisdictions which can be easily accessed by the criminals involved.

In order to meet these challenges, more investment is needed in technology and capabilities for the police services, from front-line applications to back-end forensics as an aid to deterring and solving crime and achieving prosecutions, the Deputy Prime Minister emphasized.

In reference to the new INTERPOL complex, Mr Chee-Hean noted that it will provide the opportunity to collaborate with a broader and deeper pool of international security experts and enable officers to be better equipped with the skills required to deal with a wider range of issues than in the past.

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