Singapore is reportedly considering hiring Auxiliary Police Officers (APO) amid shrinking workforce in the Southeast Asian nation and increasing demand for security services.
The city-state is looking to expand the jurisdictions from which it recruits APOs as the number from Taiwan has fallen in recent few years.
“We need to allow the Auxiliary Police Forces to recruit foreign APOs, to meet the increasing demand for security services,” Singapore Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam told the Parliament on Wednesday (10 January).
In addition to Taiwan, Singapore is considering hiring these officers from India, China, the Phillipines and Myanmar, he said.
“[The Auxiliary Police Forces] face challenges in sustaining an adequate pool of APOs, given the shrinking local workforce, requirements such as physical fitness, and the job options Singaporeans have," the minister added, SCMP reported.
Shanmugam said that the APF will continue to hire Taiwanese APOs even though their numbers have continued to fall despite the generally positive working experience with them.
Noting that recruiting and keeping Taiwanese APOs was challenging, he said that the numbers have “decreased significantly”, by more than 60 per cent from 2017 to 2023.
Singaporean APOs made up about 68 per cent of the total population of these officers as of November last year, and the remaining 32 per cent are Malaysians and Taiwanese.
The fall in Taiwanese APOs number is reportedly due to the demanding nature of public-facing security work and improved job opportunities and prospects in Taiwan.
On the risk of letting non-Singaporeans carry firearms, Shanmugam said that the misuse of firearms by APOs is extremely rare and is not more prevalent among non-Singaporeans.
Kuldeep is Senior Editor (Newsroom) at Swarajya. He tweets at @kaydnegi.
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