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Community policing in Singapore Low, Mark Jian Neng 2012

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COMMUNITY POLICING IN SINGAPORE by Mark Low Jian Neng A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in The Faculty of Graduate Studies (Geography) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (VANCOUVER) April 2012 ©Mark Low Jian Neng, 2012  ABSTRACT This thesis is devoted towards unpacking how community policing has been managed as a state discourse by the Singapore Police Force. Firstly, community policing is located within the historical context of a modernising Singapore. This begins with the need for crime prevention that was disseminated through decentralised neighbourhood police posts in the 1980s. With economic restructuring in the 1990s, community policing was rescaled to meet the changing demography of the population. Following an enhanced deployment of counter-terrorism discourse in the wake of 9/11, community policing was re-invented as part of a (re)bordering strategy to safeguard territorial sovereignty and social cohesion. Secondly, the methodology of community policing is visualised through the changing frames of the state-produced docudrama, Crime Watch. As a television programme that has consistently raked in high viewership numbers for 25 years, Crime Watch texts deserve their fair share of critical scrutiny to reveal the means of community engagement by the state police. Thirdly, the personal networks of Volunteer Special Constables are studied for the insights that they can reveal into the work of policing one’s community. Personal interviews with sixteen volunteers provide the empirical data for analysis. Volunteers have committed much time and effort into performing the work of volunteer police officers. Mediating the boundaries between the police and the public, these volunteers translate community policing into practice in complicated ways that have not been adequately documented. In summary this thesis makes three contributions to social geography: it traces the convoluted history of community policing as a state-authored discourse; it sketches the stereotypical plotlines of community policing as a tool for community engagement; and it uncovers the personal networks through which community/policing may be performed.  ii  PREFACE This thesis was approved by the Behavioural Research Ethics Board of the University of British Columbia, BREB Number: H11-01116.  iii  CONTENTS Abstract...........................................................................................................................................ii Preface...........................................................................................................................................iii Contents.........................................................................................................................................iv List of Tables..................................................................................................................................vi List of Figures................................................................................................................................vii List of Acronyms...........................................................................................................................viii Acknowledgements........................................................................................................................ix Dedication.......................................................................................................................................x Chapter One: Introduction.............................................................................................................1 Literature Review................................................................................................................5 Models of Community Policing..............................................................................5 Communities of Dissent........................................................................................11 Chapter Two: Methodology..........................................................................................................16 Historical Context.............................................................................................................16 Popular Cultural Texts.......................................................................................................19 Personal Networks............................................................................................................22 Chapter Three: A History of Community Policing.........................................................................25 Laying the Groundwork for Community Policing..............................................................26 Preventing Crime..............................................................................................................38 Rescaling Community Policing..........................................................................................49 Redistribution of Resources to Achieve a More Equitable Outcome....................53 Scaling up Resources to Achieve Economies of Scale...........................................56 Remaking Boundaries of Real Police Work...........................................................59 Removing Barriers to Information Flow................................................................62 Coordinating Partnerships with External Agencies...............................................66 Helping Communities Help Themselves................................................................69 Creating New Political Spaces...............................................................................72 9/11 and the Counter-Terrorism Drive.............................................................................74 Bordering of Territory-Networks..........................................................................78 Extension of Policing Powers in Space-Time.........................................................84 Scalar Amplifications of Policing at Mega-Security Events...................................90 Recombinant Policing in Response to Fluid Threats.............................................93 Chapter Four: Crime Watch – Community Policing and Popular Culture.....................................97 Crime Watch.....................................................................................................................97 Opening Moves.....................................................................................................99 Visualising the Crime-Fighter Persona................................................................102 The Police Procedural.........................................................................................108 Preventing Crime................................................................................................111 Entertaining the Senses......................................................................................116 Encouraging Public Spiritedness.........................................................................120 The New Security Climate?.................................................................................124 Subtler Truths.....................................................................................................126 iv  The Production and Consumption of Crime Watch........................................................127 Re-Presenting the State......................................................................................129 Other Forms of Consumption.............................................................................139 Mediating Ontological Insecurity............................................................140 Fostering Cynicism..................................................................................143 Chapter Five: Community Policing in Practice............................................................................152 Enrolment Processes......................................................................................................156 Desire..................................................................................................................156 Motivation..........................................................................................................160 Awareness...........................................................................................................164 Capacity...............................................................................................................167 Convenience.......................................................................................................170 Reproduction Processes.................................................................................................174 Time Management..............................................................................................174 Compartmentalisation........................................................................................177 Routines..............................................................................................................180 Familial Support..................................................................................................183 Integration..........................................................................................................185 Joys of Volunteering............................................................................................192 A Social Praxis of Community/Policing...........................................................................197 Working for Less.................................................................................................198 Providing Support for Duties...............................................................................199 Learning from Experts.........................................................................................200 Providing Fresh Perspectives..............................................................................201 Contributing Personal Skills................................................................................202 Recruiting Others into the Network....................................................................204 Personal Networks of Community Engagement.................................................207 Anchoring the Network.......................................................................................208 Embodiment of Police Knowledge-in-Action......................................................210 Chapter Six: Conclusion..............................................................................................................217 Bibliography................................................................................................................................227 Appendices.................................................................................................................................236 Appendix A: Interview Request Letter for Police Historian............................................236 Appendix A1: Interview Schedule for Police Historian........................................239 Appendix A2: Profile of Historian Interviewees..................................................241 Appendix B: Interview Request Letter for Crime Watch Coordinator............................242 Appendix B1: Interview Schedule for Crime Watch Coordinator........................244 Appendix C: Interview Request Letter for Volunteer Special Constable........................246 Appendix C1: Interview Schedule for Volunteer Special Constable....................249 Appendix D: Sample Interview Transcript......................................................................251 Appendix E: Guide to Participant Observation of Crime Watch Production Process.....255  v  LIST OF TABLES Table 3.1: Snatch Theft Crime Prevention Advice over the Years..............................................................40  vi  LIST OF FIGURES Figure 3.1: Split-Poster Crime Prevention Series of 2008.............................................................42 Figure 3.2: Split-Poster Crime Prevention Series of 2008.............................................................42 Figure 5.1: Attractions of Joining the VSC...................................................................................165 Figure 5.2: Attractions of Joining the VSC...................................................................................166 Figure 5.3: Attractions of Joining the VSC...................................................................................166  vii  LIST OF ACRONYMS APF – Auxiliary Police Force CC – Community Centre CCTV – Closed-Circuit Television CDC – Community Development Council CEP – Community Engagement Programme CISCO – Commercial and Industrial Security Operations CLP – Community Liaison and Preparedness CLPO – Community Liaison and Preparedness Officer CSI – Crime Science Investigation CSSP – Community Safety and Security Programme FRC – Fast Response Car GRO – Grassroots Organisation HTA – Home Team Academy IPPT – Individual Physical Proficiency Test MHA – Ministry of Home Affairs MRT – Mass Rapid Transit NPC – Neighbourhood Police Centre NPCC – National Police Cadet Corps NPCO – Neighbourhood Police Centre Officer NPP – Neighbourhood Police Post NPPO – Neighbourhood Police Post Officer NS – National Service NWG – Neighbourhood Watch Group NWZ – Neighbourhood Watch Zone PA – People’s Association PAP – People’s Action Party PES – Physical Employment Status PNS – Police National Service RC – Residents’ Committee SPF – Singapore Police Force SSWG – Safety and Security Watch Group VSC – Volunteer Special Constabulary or Constable  viii  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I thank my thesis supervisor, Professor David Ley, for his guidance and feedback throughout the course of my degree. His hospitality, encouragement and understanding have been invaluable towards the expedited completion of this thesis. I thank my second reader, Associate Professor Merje Kuus, for her instructive module on Political Geography, and for her helpful comments on this thesis. I thank the Singapore Police Force for the generous assistance rendered to me in granting me access to police historians, past issues of Force magazines, old Crime Watch videos, and members of the Volunteer Special Constabulary. I thank the Crime Watch coordinator for his hospitality in hosting me for my research at the Public Affairs Department. I thank the contact personnel of the Volunteer Special Constabulary for their assistance in scheduling my interviews. I thank the Volunteer Special Constables who agreed to be interviewed. I thank my close friends for helping me think through several concepts during my research. I thank my parents for their love, patience and support for me all these years. I thank God for His immeasurable grace which has made everything possible.  ix  To the oft-forsaken loved ones of police officers  x  CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION Stories about Singapore’s modernisation are not new. They have variously traced the evolution of the city-state from its humble beginnings as a colonial trading settlement to a thriving entrepot port of the British Crown Colony, to a modern nation-state conceived during a period of postcolonial struggle, and to the drive towards economic development and integration into the world-economy that continues to this day. This story about Singapore locates itself in the postcolonial period that witnessed an intense phase of nation-building. It traces the history of state subject-making from the constitution of law-abiding worker-citizens through a period of relaxed consumption in the 1980s that cultivated the homeowner-citizen, to a period of economic restructuring in the late 1990s that ushered in a dominant consumer-citizen. In adopting a historical approach, this story rejects the teleological impulse of most developmental narratives, electing to focus on the ambivalences, ambiguities, complexities, contradictions and surprises within The Singapore Story1 (for a similar effort, see Barr and Trocki 2008, or Heng and Aljunied 2009). This methodology is fitted with the subject matter of policing in Singapore. Policing in Singapore has strangely not received the amount of recognition that it deserves in shaping the contours of modernity in the city-state. While researchers have variously underscored the importance of having a highly-disciplined Singaporean workforce in the bid to attract foreign direct investment (Coe and Kelly 2000; Rodan 2006; Koh 2009), there has been little detailed scholarship on how the boundaries of work are actually constituted. Through a focus on police work, this story hopes to be more attuned to the various processes through which work-discipline is fostered. Narratives about a type of work associated with a profession which incorporates high levels of discipline can reveal not just the everyday lives of individuals working as police officers, but it can also reveal how police work affects the wider population through its enforcement of law, cultivation of selfdiscipline, and statisticisation of crime-related information. At issue then is the relationship  1  Most frequently ascribed to the narrative of the elder statesman Lee Kuan Yew. Lee memorably wrote a two-part autobiography titled ‘The Singapore Story’ in the late 1990s.  1  between the police, police work2 and the work of self-policing, which has been relatively uncovered by previous narrators. Since the scope of the investigation would appear immeasurably big, one way to fine-tune the research focus is to turn to the sociological nexus of the self and the collective: the community. In policing circles, community policing has gathered prominence in recent decades as a management tool to be used by police forces to better engage the public in their policing duties (see Skolnick and Bayley 1988; Goldstein 1990; Fielding 1995). Fortuitously, community policing in Singapore had been institutionalised as a formal discourse by the Singapore Police Force (SPF) in the 1980s (Quah and Quah 1987), and it has been carried out as part of the nation-building effort since then. Community policing then serves both as a platform for internal organisational restructuring by the SPF and for keeping abreast of changes in the wider socioeconomic context. Alas, the story of community policing in Singapore has surprisingly been glossed over by many scholars. This was despite the fact that community policing underwent a significant change in organisational direction in the 1990s (Singh 2000), which impacted upon the lives of many ordinary Singaporeans and frontline police officers in innumerable ways. With the mainstreaming of the counter-terrorism drive following the 9/11 attacks and subsequent terror alerts in South-East Asia, policing the domestic Homeland (Walters 2004) would assume an increased prominence in many places including Singapore. An analysis of the community policing discourse facilitates a better understanding of contemporary securitisation strategies, which have led to an expansion of the (in)security continuum (Bigo 2002). This then is a story about community policing which is also simultaneously a story about modernisation in the postcolonial national community of Singapore. Any story about the police would bring to mind the slew of crime fiction and detective novels that have come to underpin the genre in contemporary popular culture. It is here that community policing works the ground in its most extensive fashion. Utilising the mass media to disseminate favourable images of the police and policing has become possible through the  2  Here it is prompt to note that the focus of this project is on the work done by the police, although where appropriate, the term ‘police work’ will be extended to refer to various forms of regulatory work performed by others as well. Adopting a Foucauldian definition of police work (1991; 2001) implies that the latter work is not solely that performed by law enforcement agents.  2  close networks that have been cultivated between the police and the media (Chibnall 1977). While relationships are contextually specific, the media’s demand for newsworthiness, the popularity of the crime fiction genre, and recognition of the increased need for public relations by the police frequently assist to concoct a potent mixture for common consumption in ways that have yet to be explored fully by media or police scholars (for e.gs. see Mason 2003; Valier 2004; Carrabine 2008). The story of ‘popular community policing’ is told through an analysis of the text of Crime Watch, a television docu-drama that first aired in 1986. That Crime Watch has continued its broadcast for 25 years amidst a constantly evolving free-to-air television broadcasting landscape is testament to its popularity. According to collated ratings, Crime Watch frequently amasses over a million viewers for each episode, which is a rare feat for the small city-state of Singapore3. It is hoped an analysis of Crime Watch would reveal several strategies for entertaining the population. If community engagement is the key to the involvement of the public in community policing, Crime Watch is a crucial mode of disseminating the messages of the state police. Through the ability to penetrate into the respective living rooms and the reproductive spheres of individual households (Jermyn 2003), Crime Watch provides a convenient platform for allowing the police to govern at a distance. A historical approach is again adopted, as the evolution of Crime Watch texts over the decades is first carefully studied. These insights are then applied towards theorising the popularity of the Crime Watch series. Connections between Crime Watch and wider production and consumption contexts are investigated, to better locate the communications of various forms of ‘community’ by the state, which in turn can affect how national communities are understood and performed. Finally, a third story on community policing which needs to be told is that of the volunteering spirit of the Volunteer Special Constabulary (VSC). These are individuals who have committed their time to serving as volunteer police officers in the SPF. Located at the intersection of the police and the population being policed, these individuals are repositories of many interesting stories of police work, civilian work, and all else in-between. As individuals who are not full3  The current population of Singapore is 5.2 million; back in 1986 it was 2.7 million (Statistics Singapore 2011).  3  time police officers, but yet have voluntarily submitted to the disciplinary regimes expected of police officers (Greenberg 2005; Capozzola 2008), Volunteer Special Constables are worthy of a scholarly enquiry. Through studying the work-life experiences of these individuals, it is hoped that a better understanding of the relations between the police, police work and the work of self-policing can be gleaned. An emphasis on the personal life stories of these volunteers requires the adoption of a micro-sociological theoretical approach. The experiences of individual volunteers are analysed to detail the specific processes which are involved in enrolling, and then sustaining individual participation in the VSC. ‘Community’ here more precisely refers to the personal networks of community. While this thesis does not set out to document the various personally-inscribed ‘communities of choice’ of volunteers (for e.g. see Spencer and Pahl 2006), it tackles the issue of how community policing can be practised via the personal networks of individuals, which ostensibly includes those within and without one’s personal community. Similarly, the focus of this section would not be about exploring the various forms of community life within the VSC network. While the sustained scale of involvement (e.g. Wellman 2001) by volunteers helps ensure that these personal networks can qualify as spaces of community-living, and interviewees would occasionally allude to the deeper forms of social engagement that are present in the experiences of volunteering, the scope of this thesis will be restricted to understanding the processes of enrolment and reproduction of the VSC network. These three stories are both distinct and interlocking in various ways. Separately, they allow greater specialisation through the adoption of different theoretical lenses according to the frames of the narrative. But put together, they assist to illustrate from different perspectives and with greater clarity and vivacity the story of community policing in ways that are more grounded and engaging.  4  Literature Review Community policing is not a novel concept in academia. It has been studied by scholars from different disciplines, who have approached the subject from different angles. In what follows, a short discussion of the main fields of enquiry is re-presented. Models of Community Policing Community policing in the mainstream refers to a new philosophy of policing adopted by public police forces that includes a series of policing innovations pursued in response to the perceived failures of the traditional reactive professional model of policing4. Traditional policing in its reliance on maintaining the professional distance between the law enforcer-crime fighter role of the police and the ordinary citizen (Bittner 1970) was felt to have alienated the general public. Officers were sealed off from interactions with citizens as they were kept engaged by technological devices and internalised the axiomatic mandate of responding to emergencies. This disenchantment was exacerbated by the impression that the police were not capable of performing their tasks well, as studies took a dim view of the relationship between response times of frontline officers and apprehension rates, the success rates of professional criminal investigations, and the deterrence effects on crime of uniformed presence (Skolnick and Bayley 1988). The brusque nature of operationalising the Weberian monopoly of state coercion in policing the socioeconomically and racially marginalised members of the population worsened the public image of the police. While the degrees of influence exerted by the causal factors will depend on the historical context, these reasons more-or-less hold true for the average AngloAmerican police force. While there was a need for a change in policing philosophy, community policing’s proponents would also gradually derive a series of management best practices to guide the day-to-day actions of police officers, especially those of frontline enforcement agents. This was important 4  This includes emergency response, patrol car policing, randomised patrols, visible uniformed presence, quasimilitary bureaucratic structures and institutionalised criminal investigations.  5  to refute criticisms from fellow scholars that community policing was more rhetorical than real. Under the intellectual leadership of prominent police scholars (Skolnick and Bayley 1988; Goldstein 1990; Fielding 1995), community policing’s key identifiable features gradually materialised alongside its ethos of organisational change. Key elements consolidated under the rubric of community policing included: (a) improving community partnerships to reduce the fear of crime and actual crime; (b) adopting problem solving approaches; and (c) reviewing organisational structures with a view to enhancing internal informational flows. These elements represent the three lowest common denominators of community policing models, united by the ethos of making police forces more responsive and accountable. As these are merely guiding principles and a consensus remains to be reached on the finer and final contours of a unified model, it is appropriate to refer instead to multiple models of community policing. In fact, experienced scholars, who double up as advisors to professional police forces, would argue that community policing needs to be customised to fit the local context, with what can work in a particular setting not necessarily being able to succeed when transplanted to another place (Quah and Quah 1987). Despite this democratic gloss on models of community policing, it is with more than a tinge of irony that most scholars of community policing seldom concern themselves with theoretical definitions of either ‘community’ or ‘policing’. Definition of these terms is treated in a cavalier manner, as scholars focus their gaze on analysing the best practices of community policing and proposing innovations to models. The result is an unfortunate impasse within much of the research on community policing, as oft-cited definitions of ‘key elements’ of community policing are repeated and recycled, while theoretical forays into the relationship between policing, the police and community are abandoned. This theoretically impoverished work then restricts its focus on providing strategic guidance to particular police forces seeking academic expertise in implementing the latest round of community policing reforms. In his review of policing studies, Peter Manning thus concludes that ‘the driving force in both the United States and the United Kingdom is policy-based, short-term crisis funding that stimulates brief and limited research reports’ (Manning 2005:39). Under these circumstances, it is little surprising 6  that most reviews of community policing are meant to succeed (Waddington 1999), as researchers largely belong to the branch of theoreticians who practise a sociology for the police rather than a sociology of the police (Manning 2005). Formal theoreticians engage in a management-centric mode of analysis that picks up on the areas of community policing models that need to be improved upon, rather than critiquing the very basis of the models itself. With their professional careers symbiotically linked to the ‘success’ of policing innovations, mainstream scholars shed their critical distance in order to become part of the sociotechnical managerial assemblage of policing, concerned with feeding data into the metrology of key performance indicators, productivity targets, crime rates, response times and customer satisfaction surveys that the police have subjected themselves to in their concerted attempts to measure the effectiveness of community policing efforts. Critical scholars have thus argued that theorisations of community policing are deliberately left ambiguous in order to facilitate a lax interpretation of formal theories by practitioners of community policing which confers liberal democratic credentials upon senior management of the police (McConville and Shepherd 1992) whilst granting more autonomy for decision-making (and abuse) to frontline officers (Waddington 1999). I however argue that this theoretical ambiguity stems from both a failure to engage with critical sociological theorising and from the pre-reflexive nature of community that imbues it with an emotional and affective tactility. A failure to seriously engage with the long lineage of sociological thought on community life has resulted in theoretically impoverished conceptualisations of community, such as the following: ‘those living, working or otherwise interacting in identifiable contexts’ (Somerville 2009:261); and ‘anyone who has a stake in the public safety problems and can bring resources to bear to assist in the development and implementation of solutions’ (Scheider et al. 2009:697). These two definitions are reflective of popular theories of positivist sociology5 and neo-communitarian thought6, which present ready5  Positivist sociology is committed to mapping observable social phenomena in a way that can be empirically verified, and one can trace its lineage from classical thinkers such as Ferdinand Tonnies and Emile Durkheim through to ‘postmodernists’ such as the network sociology theorist Barry Wellman (2001). Within the positivist school, community emerged as a subject of study, whose intrinsic qualities could be teased out from within particular places. Social groups settling within defined boundaries, engaged in practices of territorialisation marked  7  made intellectual capital for the promotion of community policing. A failure to critique these mainstream sociological theories results in the adoption of the theoretical lenses proffered by them, which casts a restrictive net on emancipatory possibilities. Thus, it has become almost mandatory for all studies of community policing to bemoan the loss of traditional community in modern or postmodern societies. Scholars and practitioners of community policing alike frequently aspire to a past Golden Age of community policing, where densely-connected, durable, localised communities used to engage in forms of formal and informal self-policing in ways that obviated the need for professional police forces (Waddington 1999). The invocation of moral codes and the relation of historical knowledge combine to shore up claims to expertise whilst substituting for rigorous social scientific analysis and critical examination of the historical record (see Mitchell 2002). Of close relation to this hegemonic construct of communities is the increasingly perfunctory nod to Robert Putnam’s (2000) theory of social capital, wherein the objectives of police managers is to activate informal social control mechanisms embedded within the populace through reduction of the fear of crime. Enlivened community participation becomes the longterm goal of the police, having recognised the limitations of ‘going it alone’ that characterised the traditional policing model (Reiner 2000). Critical police scholars who have gone down this path of critique inevitably end up with the dismal view that some communities are better equipped than others to police themselves (e.g. Lyons 1999). However, over twenty years ago Pierre Bourdieu (1984) in his in-depth sociological analyses of the reproduction of by indicators of self-sufficiency, dense networks of localised social interaction, common ties and bonds, consciousness of kind, communal values and norms and collective institutions became recognised as communities of varying degrees. Mappings of community became grafted onto rural-urban imaginaries, as social changes wrought by modernisation prompted reflections on the urban condition, refracted through the rural Gemeinschaft idyll (Creed 2006). Territorial groupings were identified as potential spaces of community and subjugated to rigorous scholarly analysis to theorise on material and symbolic processes of community formation, reproduction and disintegration in response to social changes, and the importance of locality for people’s identification and organisation (Bell and Newby 1971). 6 Neo-communitarians re-assert the value of a communitarian ethos both philosophically and pragmatically (e.g. Walzer 1983; Taylor 1989; Etzioni 1998; Tam 1998; Putnam 2000). Attributing contemporary social ills to the corrosive nature of excessive liberalism, they argue for a renewed emphasis on communal values, civic engagement and the accumulation of social capital. Community in the abstract or territorially-defined becomes the harbinger of normative claims, with emphasis placed on inculcating civic virtue and reanimating local tradition within particular social contexts.  8  socioeconomic class privilege had already taught us that social capital is an intensely relational resource which will be unevenly distributed according to one’s socioeconomic background. Putnam’s conceptualisation of social capital relies upon an ideal-typical (White bourgeois) characterisation of social capital, which places unrealistic burdens on populations already deprived of material and symbolic resources. In abstracting social capital from its relational basis, it becomes a concept attachable to the reified homo economicus of neoclassical economics which disavows its social twin (Polanyi 1957). Insidiously, it is capable of sending many scholars onto a wild-goose chase to measure the successes of topographically inscribed communities whilst intergenerational transfers of material advantages are concealed (Holt 2008). The intellectual sidetrack is not complete. Having limited themselves to this naïve view of community participation, scholars researching on community policing strain their gaze upon the arbitrarily erected boundaries of social difference. The classic boundary is that between the police and the community. Identified as two disparate social organisations, each is assumed to harbour its own habitus, internally structured norms and expectations that guide everyday actions. The concept of the habitus, borrowed this time from Bourdieu (1977) himself, is easily applied to the police bureaucracy (Chan 1997). As a quasi-military organisation, the police have a host of specialised rituals that socialise recruits into the ranks of uniformed officers. Recruits are socialised to accept the widely-cherished strengths of the crime fighter persona (Reiner 2000): machismo, adventure-seeking, loyalty to one’s unit, teamwork, perseverance under adversity, vigilance, distrust of authority and the feeling of being called to perform a thankless job. The powerful image of the crime fighter promotes in-group solidarity at the expense of external communications (van Maanen 1978). This necessitates the acquisition of bridging social networks in the form of increased contact points with the public. Thus a major platform of community policing has been the rolling out of neighbourhood police posts, proactive foot patrols, community liaison personnel, media outreach programmes and citizens’ consultative committees to enhance informational exchanges with the public (Skolnick and Bayley 1988). Again, predictably, critical police scholars who research on the effectiveness of these 9  community policing interventions are likely to find themselves circumscribed by the communication platforms they have chosen. The strong internal bonding of frontline police officers guards against an open endorsement of top-driven community policing initiatives that are at times not sensitive to perspectives from the ground. Calling upon the police to tend to the population it serves not only strikes against the very mould of the crime-fighter persona, but it also confers upon the police an unfair burden of taking care of the extra-policing needs of the population (Herbert 2006). Under these circumstances, critical evaluations of community policing models end up with a dismal conclusion that neighbourhood forums inaugurated by the police fail to live up to their expectations of improving the socioeconomic well-being of the ‘community’ and enhancing the state of democracy through the cultivation of civil society. By delimiting their academic imagination to these communication formats (c.f. Ericson and Haggerty 1997), scholars have curtailed the expansion of their theoretical horizons and remain confined to answering questions posed on the terms of police managers. Under these circumstances, a renewed interest in policing subculture7 has recently emerged (e.g. Waddington 1999; Reiner 2000; Marks 2005; Loftus 2010). Police scholars are forced to retraverse the pioneering works of police studies written some 30-40 years ago8 to re-examine how police subcultures are subverting the democratic ethos of community policing. In so doing, most tend to find themselves coming to the disappointing conclusion that not much has changed over the years9. However a notable exception amongst critical police scholars is the work of the geographer Steve Herbert (2006). He sets out to state his case against community policing by first reviewing how community has been conceptualised by social (the positivist school) and political (neocommunitarians) theorists, comparing them with his empirical materials to argue that the value 7  Original debates invoked this term to refer to the culture of insularity identified amongst frontline police officers which prohibited a full integration into wider society (Reuss-Ianni and Ianni 1983). This in my opinion remains a derogatory term grafted onto the lower ranks of the police that absolves supervisors of responsibility for their actions. 8 If access to the police forces remains much cherished, it might not be too far-fetched to infer that scholars who have set their sights on studying the organisational cultures of rank-and-file officers are worried that continued access to the institution might not be granted if they were to shift their sights higher up the organisational ladder. 9 Employment of Bourdieu’s concept of the habitus (1977; 1984) is likely to highlight the reproduction of structures over the possibilities for transformation.  10  being placed on community in theory far exceeds the expectations of most people living within the neighbourhood-community. Herbert calls for a distinction to be made between the social and political attributes of community, and argues that an overly-enthusiastic embrace of grassroots’ civic activism places too much burden upon individuals attempting to materialise the ‘community’. Herbert reveals the uneven impacts of community policing both internally and externally on the different communities that he identifies, arguing that community policing in practice obscures social inequality whilst occluding wider scales of analyses, thereby neglecting the structural impacts of wider social forces. In terms of politics, an unresolved tension between state and society is manifest in the police’s position vis-à-vis that of the society it governs. As both separate from and simultaneously generative of society, the police cannot be wholly accountable to society in the mould of the subservient model of state-society relations, which proffers a submission of the state to society. In addition, the internal dynamics of the policing organisation continue to reduce the likelihood of any successful implementation of community policing. Community policing over-burdens police forces by forcing them to listen to the community in unrealistic ways; this concurrently lets other state agencies off the hook for not contributing their fair share towards solving the entrenched social problems of the day. Herbert’s analyses are compelling and nuanced, but at times he appears to stack the police up against the community. In so doing, he fails to elaborate upon the actual mechanisms through which the police are generative of society. The effect of policing on society is something not lost upon the next group of scholars. Communities of Dissent On the other side of the police-community barrier, habituses are multiply spread out across the landscape as community policing’s territorialising impulses encompass more categories of ‘community’. Minority ethnic groups, inner city neighbourhoods, gated communities, insurance companies, chambers of commerce, job placement centres, schools, churches, hospitals, families, and even online social networking sites are named as communities that must be responsible for a certain degree of self-policing. The recognition by the police that they cannot 11  be held solely responsible for the mandate of preserving public order and preventing crime has resulted in community groups gradually assuming responsibility for policing the conduct of their members. Nikolas Rose has identified this peculiar form of policing through communities as exemplary of the birth of neoliberal governmentality: ‘New territorialisations of politics are involved in the emergence of community as an object of government...(n)ew moralising explanations of individual and collective pathologies underpin political strategies to regulate crime, enhance individual competencies, and administer security through activating the responsibilities of communities for their own well-being’ (Rose 2000:1408). Technologies of government rely upon community to govern at a distance, and power is productive by working through individual freedoms of choice to produce compliant, contented and coherent subjects. Community ties individuals to an ethical conduct in a form of ethopolitics that is concordant with prevailing neoliberal discourses of responsible morality, self-control and self-advancement through legitimate consumption. Community is recognised as part of the assemblage of control technologies that govern advanced liberal societies, harnessing the warmth of community to produce complaint consumer-citizens, whilst punishing those who refuse the ethical contract. Rose’s critical theorising is emblematic of a second school of theoreticians. Taking his cue from the contraction of the social democratic welfare state and the various disjunctures accompanying a post-Fordist socioeconomic landscape, Rose attempts to theorise on the changing anthropology of the British state through a dissection of recent social policies (Rose 1999). Contrary to the micro-managers of community policing policies, Rose is theoretically bold and ambitious, relentlessly taking apart postmodern consumerist and psychologising discourses. A weakness of Rose’s argument lies in his occasional universalising tendencies which do not provide space for alternatives to ‘neoliberal governmentality’ to emerge. His critical take on neo-communitarianism also could do better through identifying the sources of affection that are produced by these discourses. An ethical code of conduct is certainly being prescribed by neo-communitarians, but this surely varies according to different localised contexts. Understanding how communities are mobilised is then as important as understanding how individuals accept greater responsibility for their own behaviours at the personal level. 12  Fine-tuning of the theories of governmentality will help amplify the complicated processes at work within the individual. Within close theoretical proximity one can locate similar critiques of the move to community policing. David Garland (2001) views community policing as part of the close-control, situational crime prevention strategies which characterise the rise of a managerialist paradigm within the police. Within a culture of control that permeates late-modern societies, the modern penalwelfare complex has been abandoned with the result that citizens now distrust the traditional medico-psychiatric-criminological expertise that helped constitute the system. Instead, neoliberal techniques of risk management undergirded by actuarial sciences are brought to the fore in the operation of the criminal justice system (Harcourt 2007). The police are called upon to prioritise crime prevention in their job description, since crime is productive of negative social externalities which disrupt the operation of free markets. This turn towards criminologies of everyday life that involve micro-managing the situational aspects of the environment to better prevent crime manifests itself in many policing strategies, of which community policing is one. Partnerships with the community will provide the necessary information to the police to help them calibrate their resources and stuff out opportunities for criminal activities. This ‘soft’ managerialist approach of the police is wedded onto a hard front of the state to create the impression that the state is still in control, when it has already ceded power to the market. The punitive arm of the state, which manifests itself through zero-tolerance policing and the massive increase in incarceration, is but a form of symbolic, expressive ‘acting out’ by the state, itself plagued by the neoliberal imperative of fiscal discipline. Garland’s observations are canny and his use of empirical examples wide-ranging. These help to make up for his inadequate theorisations on the nature of the state, which from his version sometimes appears schizophrenic. His stereotyping of community policing is unfortunate too, as it distinguishes community policing from its nasty counterpart – zero-tolerance policing. This mistake is magnified if one considers how easily regressive and repressive policing tactics can easily be submerged under the rubric of community policing. Additionally, such a binary risks reproducing gendered norms that structure the meaning of police work: community policing is 13  the feminine role of tending to the community, while reactive policing is the purview of the masculine crime-fighter persona. Nurturing the traditional police psyche hinders the ability to institute progressive change within the police. Loïc Wacquant (2009) issues a trenchant critique of the morphology of the state in Punishing the Poor. He ascribes recent social changes to the rise of neoliberalism, which he defines as a transnational political project aiming to remake the nexus of market, state, and citizenship from above, comprising four institutional logics: economic deregulation, welfare state devolution, institutionalisation of a cultural trope of individual responsibility, and an expansive proactive penal apparatus. He co-locates the rise of workfare policies and a renewed punitive penology in the re-making of the American state. This practice of statecraft is rationalised by the need to govern social insecurity spawned by a series of social disorders, to be determined by objective material insecurity for the working class poor in the last instance. The penalisation of the poor is manifold: coercion to participate in the formal economy without the accompanying benefits of a socialised wage; demonisation of welfare-seekers as a chronic form of dependency; surveillance of economic productivity and social mobility through the workfare arm of the state and containment of the socially excluded population through incarceration; and supervised paroles and court orders that re-visualise ex-offenders upon their release from prisons. Wacquant points to a disturbing trend when he compares the demographic profiles of those enrolled on workfare programmes against those housed in prisons. Their demographic isomorphism, functional equivalence and structural homology suggest the policing of a gendered division of labour at the bottom of the income hierarchy. While Wacquant’s skilful apprehension of the new penology of the state is theoretically robust and politically vigorous, it may come as a surprise that his elaboration of this new punitive penology contains little of the role of the police. Where mentions are made, it is mostly in reference to the adoption of the infamous broken windows theory which he rightly condemns as unscientific and theoretically dubious. While he attends to the policing of non-policing communities with aplomb, he has ignored the theoretical and practical developments within 14  the field of policing. Thus he makes a total of only two references to community policing throughout the entire text even when it has risen to become the dominant policing philosophy for American police forces, and each of these simply takes community policing to be synonymous with zero-tolerance policing, as an ideological mask for coercive state repression. Such theoretical and empirical lapses are however not atypical: scholars in this second category typically focus their intellectual energies at critiquing socially unjust policies of the state to the detriment of theoretical enquiries into the role of policing in societies. This is unfortunate, for the role that the police play in policing societies is constitutive of wider political economic structures. Linking the partitioned studies of policing with studies of communities becomes necessary for research into the policing of communities. Models of community policing can provide a convenient entry point towards this endeavour, if we begin to socialise them into practice. In short, this brief review of academic literature has sketched out the contours of the sociotechnical managerial assemblage of community policing, which is complexly bounded up with the different models of community policing as espoused by prominent policing scholars. While more nuanced academic enquiries have recognised the need for customising the models to fit particular historical contexts, what remains missing from their accounts is a critical investigation of how these contexts have arose and how powerful interests are being served via the practice of police-centred community policing. A socialisation of the models of community policing would pay attention to how power relations are constantly working through different sites and scales to achieve the objectives of government. In addition, it can shed light on how the increasingly banal practice of community policing is intimately connected to the nurturing of individual subjectivities.  15  CHAPTER TWO: METHODOLOGY This thesis is broadly divided into three chapters that cover different aspects of community policing. Accordingly, the methods adopted for each chapter have varied and this would be reflected in the writing styles of each chapter. The three chapters respectively deal with the historical context, the popular cultural texts and the personal networks of community policing. As will be expected, each chapter draws upon different theoretical understandings of ‘community’ to provide guiding signposts throughout the texts. Research methods have also been influenced to a large extent by the conventional methodologies associated with each school of theory.  Historical Context To excavate a grounded history of community policing, I have adopted a Foucauldian approach towards understanding power relations (Foucault 1991; 2001; 2007). This stresses the multiple twists and turns that history takes en route to the present, destabilising the ‘facts’ that mainstream historical texts tend to proclaim, in order to establish critical perspectives on the complexities of the subject matter. A Foucauldian approach also seeks to trace how power operates rather than identifying the ‘who’ or ‘what’ of power. Foucault’s various exegeses of the technologies of the self provide many insights into the nature of policing power in modern societies. Understanding how power works through the self provides a crucial theoretical link between the police, police work and the work of self-policing. This facilitates a grounded approach to community policing; one learns to ‘stick’ closer to the ground as opposed to privileging the ‘god’s eye trick’ that academics have occasionally been prone to practice. For the purposes of the Singaporean narrative, uncovering critical histories allows one to cover more ground over time whilst providing a more comprehensive understanding of community policing in Singapore. This is important since studies on community policing tend to ignore questions of scale in favour of pursuing managerial innovations (Herbert and Brown 2006). Having said that, this approach possesses several weak spots, as will be evident in the following chapter. It tries to make sense of a sprawling amount of historical data which may not always be amenable to 16  tidy representations that fit the narrative of this thesis. The scale of the endeavour, which attempts to trace the history of community policing over twenty-five years, is a huge task that would occasionally gloss over certain details. The choice of topics to focus upon is also highly selective, given the substantial theoretical ambiguity surrounding community policing (e.gs. McConville and Shepherd 1992; Waddington 1999; Herbert 2006) and the dearth of critical scholarly research on this subject matter in Singapore. Historical research consisted of mainly archival research at the Public Affairs Department (PAD) of the Singapore Police Force (SPF). Force monthly newsletters, yearbooks, crime prevention brochures and Crime Watch videos served as the main staple for empirical data collection. In addition, scholarly texts on policing in Singapore and on the Singapore Police Force were read to glean more background information on the topic (e.gs. Quah and Quah 1987; Quah 1994; Ganapathy 2000; Akbur 2002; Sim 2011). Finally, an online search was made of newspaper articles, legal statutes and governmental publications on issues related to community policing in Singapore. Historical data collected through these methods tend to be unwieldy for scholarly analysis, because most of these texts are state-authored and offer little critical perspectives on issues. Fortunately, there are Singaporean scholars who have provided critical theoretical lenses on the political economy of Singapore (e.gs. Salaff 1988; Li 1989; Rodan 1989; Chua 1995; Rahim 2009), although these scholars would not all identify themselves as political economists. Reading their secondary texts was helpful for understanding certain broad issues which only partially pertain to policing work. I would then draw upon several ideas from local critical scholars to interpret the vast amount of historical data which have been studiously archived by the police over the years. Finally, personal interviews were conducted with three officers holding senior leadership ranks within the Singapore Police Force, to better understand the perspectives from the top on how and why community policing was implemented over the years (see Appendix A2 for their profiles). Interviews were done one-on-one, face-to-face at a time and location convenient for office-holders: this meant that interviews were conducted in the personal offices of two officers, and at a meeting room in the Police Headquarters building for the third. Interview 17  schedules had been drawn out and passed on to candidates for their review prior to deciding on whether to be interviewed (see Appendices A and A1). When interview sessions were conducted, a tape-recorder was used to facilitate future transcription and analyses. My ability to secure these interviews was largely thanks to my position as a government scholar who would soon be joining the Singapore Police Force as a Senior Officer upon completion of my Master’s Thesis. This position of privilege allowed me to secure access to an important gatekeeper within the force, who would direct me to the relevant personnel within the force who possessed various knowledge on community policing. His recognition and approval of my thesis proposal was important in granting me expedited access to my interviews and for an attachment to the Public Affairs Department for me to conduct research on the history of community policing in the SPF. This expedited access was granted on the expectation that I would be able to apply the knowledge so derived towards my future career with the force. Nonetheless, research continued to fall within certain boundaries of acceptability. For instance, I was only allowed to write on non-operationally sensitive details of police work, and my access to the police archives was only restricted to those documents that could be viewed by the general public as well. But perhaps the fact that I would be joining the Police Force after graduation prompted a greater interest in police work that led me to write this thesis. For someone who is about to transit from being a student to being a working adult, this experience with investigating what police work is all about has been very personally fulfilling and is something that I hope to bring with me when I eventually start my job. Writing this thesis has in fact allowed me to re-trace processes that led me to sign on as a police officer and along the way, I have re/dis-covered several subtler reasons for my motivations for joining the SPF. This thesis then could more accurately be considered an autobiography of sorts as I not only re-trace my footsteps in joining the Police Force, but I’ve also re-examined a period in the history of community policing that fortuitously coincides with my growing up years in Singapore. Empirical materials are occasionally referenced from my undergraduate dissertation on the topic of policing the night city: these include previous experiences of frontline patrolling and interactions with VSCs on the ground. As an overseas student returning back to my home country to embark on a career, I 18  have taken an interest in re-looking at the various urban landscapes that had socialised me during my youth, and my footprints will pepper the finished product in more ways than usual. Bordering on the boundary between study and work has made me more attuned to the divergent scholarly work that has been done on policing. It is rather depressing for a geographer-future police officer to consume texts about the geographies of policing which consistently devalue the work of policing in the fight for economic and social justice, or in the bid to encourage a greater plurality of voices in the field. Police work certainly is responsible for its fair share of social injustices, brutal repressions and application of normalisation strategies, but it is something simultaneously more than that and a simple, broad-brush critique risks universalising generic policing traits whilst obscuring a deeper appreciation of disciplinary power. As the few geographers who have ventured into the policing field would testify, geographers have much to contribute to the sub-discipline of policing studies, whilst benefiting from and improving upon previous work done by police scholars. It is by engaging with police work that one can gain a more nuanced perspective of the subject matter of policing, which happens to be a concern of many geographers in the contemporary security climate.  Popular Cultural Texts My visit to the Public Affairs Department also granted me access to previous episodes of Crime Watch. However, the collection of Crime Watch videos was in different recording formats and there were occasional missing entries in the archive, reflecting the evolution of video recording technologies and the changeovers of Crime Watch coordinators over time. Presently archaic video playback technologies such as VHS or Betamax require the use of video cassette players which were only available in limited quantities at the Public Affairs Department and in the National Library. This restricts the portability of videos as specialised equipment is needed to convert older videos into a digital format. The lack of a complete video record of past episodes also meant that the sampling technique specified below would be limited by the availability of video tapes and digital video discs.  19  Firstly, the compiled synopses of several seasons of Crime Watch were used to facilitate a quick overview for the purposes of content analysis. Again, the changing of Crime Watch coordinators and thus record-keeping practices meant this was not available for all past seasons of Crime Watch. Where synopses were not available, a screening of the teaser segment of each Crime Watch video would be sufficient for relating the main segments and content of that particular episode. Following that, a detailed viewing of particular sampled episodes would be carried out, applying these criteria: (i) ensuring at least one episode per year over the years is viewed where available; (ii) focusing on representations of particular crime types over time; and (iii) focusing on topics of interest, such as counter-terrorism or the usage of close-circuit television cameras. Where detailed viewing is carried out, a mixture of different viewing speeds is practised to ensure a fine balance between cognitive, emotive and affective modes of re-viewing is achieved. For instance, a close replay of texts facilitates a cognitive critical understanding of it in a way that would be dissimilar to a casual viewing of the same text as a form of entertainment. The process of screening past videos was also evenly spaced out across a period of two months, to ensure there were adequate breaks in-between for reflecting at greater lengths upon the viewing experience. Textual analysis included looking out for the following: (i) characterisations of the police, criminal, victim, eye-witness and television audience; (ii) representations of crime; (iii) flow of each programme; (iv) representations of the different segments; (v) plotlines of re-enactments; (vi) filming and post-production editing techniques; and (vii) lists of crime prevention measures. Put together, these different components help constitute a popular cultural text through the creation of spaces of viewing pleasure. Community engagement thereby succeeds when its audience voluntarily consumes the text and by implication the state-authored message embedded in the text. Nonetheless, the partial, over-determined process of consumption (Bhabha 1994) is more complicated than can be adequately dealt with in this thesis. Where analyses of consumption are attempted, these rely upon my informal conversations with friends and volunteer and regular police officers on whether they are viewers of Crime Watch and what they think of it. A 20  focus is however placed upon understanding the production process of Crime Watch. This was achieved through participant observations of the Crime Watch coordinator at his workplace in the PAD10, as well as at a filming session of Crime Watch. Participant observations sought to reveal the various processes that constitute the production cycle of Crime Watch (see Appendix E); where possible, I would accompany the coordinator on his various duties in preparation for Crime Watch. My status as a participant observer was restricted by my lack of police knowledge on matters like police procedures and a lack of social networks within the organisation that was important in the sourcing of help for the production process. Nevertheless, for the purposes of this thesis, it was simultaneously important to maintain a critical distance from the production of Crime Watch to facilitate a critical analysis of the popular cultural text. For this reason, I abstained from voluntary participation in the production process, either via helping out as a liaison personnel or through acting as a police officer on Crime Watch. Conversely, my duty to the coordinator was to review the history of Crime Watch through catching up on past episodes of the series, and to provide informal feedback on the evolution of Crime Watch over the years. My limited theoretical expertise in critiquing popular cultural texts using the assorted tools provided by media studies, audience studies and cultural studies became a selling point; the provision of the man-hours needed to watch past episodes of Crime Watch was another. Most of my participant observation sessions took place within the PAD office, where my time was split between reviewing Crime Watch texts and engaging in participant observation of the coordinator. I was attached to a location shoot for only one full day, as Crime Watch only shoots for several days each month at odd timings, which limits the opportunities for my fieldwork. The temptation to go behind-the-scenes of the production process was also necessarily limited by a prior engagement with the filming of another Mediacorp Studios11 English language drama serial, and by the realisation that most production work is actually done before and after the shoot itself. Observing a shoot may thus be an informative process, but there were other considerations that constrained my involvement on-scene.  10  Informal interviews were held with the Crime Watch coordinator during these participant observation sessions. See Appendices B and B1 for the interview letter and schedule. 11 The state-owned media production and broadcasting company in Singapore  21  Personal Networks A request for interviews and participant observations with Volunteer Special Constables (VSCs) was first submitted through the gatekeeper to the SPF. This necessary procedure indicated the submission of the VSC within the SPF, in which permission for research work first needs to be sought from the higher authority. Eventually, while permission for interviews was granted, that for participant observations was stonewalled; informal sources related to me that this was due to my lack of formal training that became a safety issue, the lack of administrative manpower to formally process my request for grounded attachments with VSCs, and a lack of insurance coverage that restricts my mobility in the policing field. Nevertheless, requests for interviews would be sent to the VSC Headquarters (see Appendix C), with my recruitment of volunteers for the interviews being controlled by the present Head of Recruitment for VSC. Reflecting the presence of a double-line reporting within the VSC, permission still needed to be sought from the VSC senior leadership before my request for interviewees could be forwarded to currently-serving VSCs. When approval was granted, I was able to make contact with the first batch of six volunteer interviewees via the Head of Recruitment. Information of my project to find out how the VSC has played a part in community policing was relayed and requests for interviews were made. VSCs would be given at least 24 hours to decide if they wanted to participate in the interviews, and those who agreed would meet up with me for an interview session held on weeknights at the VSC Headquarters. An interview schedule had also been manufactured and this was supplied to VSCs to help them in their decision-making (see Appendix C1). The schedule however mainly served as a guide, providing certain themes for discussion which could be elaborated upon in the individual sessions. Over time, the schedule would be fine-tuned according to the responses I obtained from my first batch of interviewees. For my second batch of interviewees, I requested a change of venue for the interviews, in the bid to speak to more voices outside of VSC recruitment networks12. Using contacts provided to me by the Head of Recruitment, I was able to liaise with the Heads of VSC units in two Land 12  Most interviewees in the first batch had been involved in the recruitment campaigns of the VSC.  22  Divisions13. A similar request for interviews was made, and I was put into contact with VSCs in these Land Divisions who were considered for interviews. The primary initial consideration in the selection of interviewees was the need for a diversity of voices; this was conveyed to the Heads of the Land Divisions and recommendations for interviewees were made by them. While both the Heads drew upon their own personal networks for the selection of interviewees, only one Head tapped upon his Division’s VSC Liaison Officer to coordinate the interview session with ten VSCs who agreed to be interviewed. Interviews were conducted on a weeknight at the conference room of the respective Land Division Headquarters of the VSC units, and these lasted about 30 minutes on average. Most sessions were one-on-one, although two sessions were conducted with two VSCs at a go at their request. A tape-recorder was used in most cases to record the sessions to allow for greater accuracy in transcribing interviews. However a few applicants preferred not to use the tape-recorder out of concerns for privacy, and their decisions were accepted. By far, a large majority of VSCs also waived their right to anonymity for comments made during interviews, signalling the pride that most interviewees had of their constabulary work. Based on the fine-tuned interview schedule, most questions were largely generic, touching upon the motivations and experiences of VSCs in volunteering with the SPF. Where relevant, participants could choose to talk more about their personal life stories in a non-intrusive manner; these were largely left to the participants’ own discretion and no attempt was made to compel participants to discuss their private lives. The usual out-of-bounds markers of operational-sensitivity and police secrecy also apply, with sessions steering clear of such details. Interviews were transcribed and coded for analyses according to the following broad categorisations: (i) motivations for joining the VSC; (ii) steps towards volunteering; (iii) nonwork related experiences of volunteering; (iv) working experiences as a VSC; (v) routines of volunteering; (vi) external reactions to volunteering; (vii) comparison of workplace sociality (daytime job versus VSC job); (viii) evolution of the VSC scheme; (ix) obstacles to volunteering in Singapore; and (x) reflections on VSC and community policing (see Appendix D for a sample 13  VSCs currently serve in Land Divisions performing generalised frontline policing duties, as well as in specialised units. This thesis turns its attention to the policing work being performed at Land Divisions.  23  transcript). These codes were subsequently re-configured to fit the social geography-themed narrative of the chapter on ‘Community Policing in Practice’. Due to the nature of recruitment of VSCs for interviews, the final sample of sixteen volunteers will undoubtedly not be representative of currently-serving VSCs. In spite of efforts to encourage a greater diversity of voices, it is expected that there will be an over-representation of highly-experienced VSCs within my sample, partly as a result of gatekeepers preferring to select competent personnel for interview by someone not from the VSC. Consequently, there will be silences in the interview data: several individuals would simply not have been considered for interview due to their perceived lack of ground experience or a lack of prior training in managing interviews with external researchers. However, other reasons could explain why certain individuals did not make it to the interviews: a gender bias against females’ ability to take questions, the presence of daytime volunteers who needed to work at night when the interview was slated to occur, and the fixed venues for interviews which would inconvenience individuals make up the list. A conscious attempt was made to reflect on these silences during analysis of the transcripts. Finally, the fact that I introduced myself as someone who was about to join the Police Force served to orientate interview sessions in different ways. For some interviewees, this helped to assuage concerns about the potential impropriety of comments that they were making, given that as a future police officer, I could be expected to abide by an acceptable code of conduct with regards to processing the information gleaned from interviews. Several of them could have interpreted my lack of formal training as a sign to be more circumspect in what they could reveal during interviews, since I was after all, not yet a full-fledged police officer. Yet others could have taken my status as a future regular police officer to be an indication of my representation of the SPF vis-à-vis the VSC. Comments offered up would then gather around their perceptions of the regular force in contrast to the VSC. Taken together, these different considerations helped shaped the analysis of the interview process.  24  CHAPTER THREE: A HISTORY OF COMMUNITY POLICING As a discourse, community policing was institutionalised in 1983 with the establishment of the first Neighbourhood Police Post (NPP) in the public housing estate of Toa Payoh. The move to plant NPPs all over the mainland was accompanied by a major organisational restructuring of the Singapore Police Force (SPF), which would henceforth be fronted by the NPP motif. The decision to adopt community policing as an underlying organisational ethos was aided by the expertise of a policing studies scholar renowned for his research on community policing, Professor David Bayley, who was invited to Singapore to provide advice on community policing. Study visits to Japan were also conducted by the force’s senior management to pick up pointers on how the popular koban system of community policing took root in Japanese neighbourhoods. Scholars have dealt with abstract reasons for adopting community policing as a model, but these are largely centred upon the experiences of a select few American and British cities and towns (e.gs. McConville and Shepherd 1992; Fielding 1995; Lyons 1999; Miller 1999; Reiner 2000). Where the scope was broadened to include Singapore’s experiences of pioneering community policing, research has adopted a managerial tack that focuses more on rationalising the success of the move to an NPP system of community policing (Quah and Quah 1987; Skolnick and Bayley 1988; Ganapathy 2000; Akbur 2002; Sim 2011), rather than taking a wider analytical perspective to locate the circumstances that gave birth to community policing. This dissertation will focus on the motivations for implementing community policing within the SPF, tracing the morphology of community policing from 1983 onwards to the present day. A historical study is undertaken to re-trace the footsteps of community policing in its twists and turns, emphasising the need to pay attention to historically-specific contexts which shape the outcome of the community policing project. And finally, to ground this study of community policing, a spatialisation of the discourse has been carried out and the evolving geographies of community policing are used to bookmark the different watersheds in this chapter.  25  Laying the Groundwork for Community Policing The immediate post-independence period of Singapore was pre-occupied with rationalising the separation from the Malayan Federation. In addition to securing international support for the nascent nation-state of Singapore, the government of the day, led by a People’s Action Party (PAP) helmed by Lee Kuan Yew, was consolidating its political support since its rise to power in the 1959 elections. Political legitimacy was to be sought through successful economic development (Olds and Yeung 2004). The latter would be achieved with the expertise of foreign capital, with multinational corporations wooed to set up export-oriented manufacturing plants in Singapore. Foreign investors were promised the provision of an adequate supply of land, labour and security, along with the typical bundle of tax holidays, start-up grants and special provisions for the expatriate community (Rodan 1989). Singaporeans would overtime be subjected to a strict work-disciplinary regime aimed at crafting a hardworking and docile workforce (Coe and Kelly 2000), equipped with basic literacy skills and a work ethic second to none. Basic welfare provision through heavily subsidised public housing (Salaff 2004) and education (Gopinathan 2007) was provided for, alongside exhortations of anti-natalist family planning to reduce overcrowding (Fawcett and Khoo 1980). The existence of a basic provision of welfare allowed the state to concentrate its resources on tackling the ‘pertinent’ economic issues of the day, whilst assuring the population that economic growth alone would provide the best social security net for their future (Kong and Yeoh 2003). Authority over land was consolidated through legislation that sanctioned compulsory purchases by the state. With effective control over the vast majority of land, enforced through the help of the police, it could be effectively subjected to the postcolonial principles of high modernist planning (Kong and Yeoh 2003). Parcels of land were set aside as industrial estates and their infrastructure would be taken care of by a statutory board. The provision of building sites as well as working infrastructures for petrochemical plants and light manufacturing factories helped facilitate foreign direct investment in Singapore. A stable political regime for investment underlay these various strategies (Quah 2010). An authoritarian government laid down the ground rules for economic survival to a young nation, spelling out the imperative of economic progress which 26  would have to be achieved at all costs. Amidst regional political instability that helped nurture a regional outsider-complex (Rahim 2009), Singaporeans would have to overcome the odds of survival through a fostering of national unity that prided consensus over conflict. Postindependence communal strife was blamed on the brand of communal politics being practised by regional political elites, as the racially-dictated affirmative action policies of Malaysia became a foil for the crafting of domestic policies of social control (Rahim 2009). An active compartmentalisation of the different races of the local population was thus sought to help create and sustain the PAP government’s emergent14 multiracialism and multireligiosity discourse. Multiracialism would provide the intellectual resources for the ruling party to claim moral superiority over ‘backward’ neighbours15 (Rahim 2009), whilst serving as a hegemonising tool to govern socioeconomically marginalised portions of the local population (Li 1989). In opting for multiracialism as a shield to guard against ‘communal strife’, the leadership chose to forget its colonial beginnings as a divide-and-rule strategy to govern the colony (Turnbull 1989; Yeoh 1996). Instead, the population was to be convinced that the government knew best, and a submission to its paternalistic policies would be in the nation’s best interests in the long run. Legislations of all stripes were grafted upon the postcolonial terrain to secure the compliance of state subjects, giving rise to what anthropologist Yao Souchou (2007) calls ‘order and law’ in Singapore. Racial and religious boundaries would be policed with utmost zeal as they were deemed to be matters of national security. The strong-handed control of these boundaries helped privatise and naturalise the status of ‘race’ and ‘religion’ in Singapore. Whilst ostensibly serving to preserve a space for racial and religious harmony, multiracialism and multireligiosity have provided useful intellectual and legal tools with which to police the national consensus on ‘race’ and ‘religion’. Where individuals flouting a legal ban on the discussion of racial and religious sensitivities would be liable for public policing by the Internal Security Department, 14  It must be noted that the PAP leadership had previously campaigned for a more progressive multiracial politics after the merger with the Federation of Malaya in 1963, as a political move to win over Chinese supporters in other states. 15 The communal politics being practiced by Malaysia, and to a lesser extent, Indonesia, has provided a fertile ground for the active championing of the PAP’s multiracialism platform. When compared to the overt preferential treatment of Malays under racially-singed affirmative action policies, the PAP can easily claim the moral high ground for being ‘progressive’ and ‘multicultural’ in spite of actions which can be interpreted as Chinese chauvinism (Rahim 2009).  27  the nation would henceforth be inclined to repress discussions of racial and religious issues in favour of maintaining the status quo16. A robust legal framework also had to be in place to secure the legitimacy of investments, to ensure adequate protection and insurance of investments, and to secure the well-being of expatriates who were invited to contribute their technical expertise (Rodan 1989). The colonial legal framework had already included several draconian legislations to entrench the subservience of the colony during the colonial era. The government thus re-worked its colonial inheritance to articulate its vision for an economically prosperous nation (Yeoh 1996; Kong and Yeoh 2003; Oswin 2010). This careful recalibration of the legal apparatus sought to achieve amongst other things, the enshrinement of economic efficiency over social justice as a guiding principle for calculating wages, the laying down of standards for economic productivity (Quah 2010), the controlling of domestic consumption through the institution of a compulsory savings scheme and the regulation of public housing (Salaff 1988; 2004), the regulation of land mentioned earlier, the enhancement of deterrent penalties for major crimes like kidnapping, armed offences and drug trafficking (Quah 1994), the clamping down on corruption within the civil service (Quah 2010), and the regulation of conduct through active criminalisation of undesirable behaviours (Yao 2007). Importantly, the presence of a strongly enforced legal framework served to police the behaviours of the emergent nation, while citizens were simultaneously persuaded of the moral ‘wisdoms’ of engaging in a gamut of activities: involvement in formal employment, leaving personal savings to the state-owned bank for safekeeping, contributing to social security through regular payments to their Central Provident Fund, staying away from a life of crime, keeping one’s hair short and tidy to upkeep a ‘presentable’ front, sacrificing the ‘good life’ in favour of toiling first, and submission to one’s 16  For instance, it has become a norm for individuals to only address the shortcomings of their respective race or religion. Thus, with my race officially stated as ‘Chinese’ on my National Registration Identity Card, I can only afford to speak critically about the failings of the Chinese sub-population. To speak of the state of other races or religions risks attracting the gaze of policing authorities. With race and religion neatly compartmentalised into distinct groupings, discussions about them are reduced to those of a self-Orientalising stripe, such as the celebration of cultural diversity through cultural festivities (Bauman 2001; Zizek 2008). A lack of dialogue over racial and religious issues has also necessarily heightened the risks of maintaining racial and religious stereotypes, undermining the progressive signifier of multiracialism and multireligiosity.  28  superiors at the manufacturing assembly line for the betterment of the company. With the promise of social mobility through participation in the state-managed capitalist economy, the lifting of the ‘colour’ bar at workplaces with the displacement of colonial prejudices, and constant reminders of the trauma of political merger and separation, Singaporeans were socialised into the postcolonial model of economic developmentalism subscribed to by the ruling elites (for a range of geographical perspectives, see Kong and Yeoh 2003; Olds and Yeung 2004; Jacobs and Cairns 2008; Oswin 2010). In the decade following independence, the government was thus involved in securing both the foreign and domestic geopolitical spheres. Both spheres were integral to the constitution of statehood, and had to be dealt with concurrently. On the international arena, the government’s realist foreign policy sought out alliances with extra-regional major international powers and Singapore invested heavily in her own military force following the gradual departure of the British armed forces from 1968 (Worthington 2003; Rahim 2009). The creation of the Singapore Armed Force served to provide deterrent capabilities against potential aggressors within a hostile regional setting, whilst satisfying the pragmatic need of finding jobs for those rendered unemployed by the exit of the British military and administrative units. Internal security would be handled by the Republic of Singapore Police, which was tasked to enforce the order and law laid down by the ruling party. Capital punishment for the serious offences listed above had to be enforced by the police to ensure their deterrent utility (Akbur 2002). Accordingly, the police focused their efforts upon establishing a peaceful social order through the inevitably violent suppression of non-compliant political challengers to the PAP’s rule. Trade union activists, student union leaders, communist insurgents, Konfrontasi terrorists, ethnically-based secret societies and clan associations who variously sought out alternative political projects were confronted with the full force of the law (Akbur 2002). Industrial strikes were banned, rioting attracted stiffer penalties, while political crimes against the state warranted top billing amongst policing duties. This enforcement of a non-political domestic space occurred alongside the politicisation of foreign policy which was geared towards the attraction of American capital and technological expertise. The Vietnam War provided an economic opportunity to secure 29  lucrative defence contracts with the United States Army, whilst cultivating closer political economic ties with American neoconservative elites (Rodan 1989; Rahim 2009). The rise of monetarism and a materialisation of the nascent contours of neoliberalisation allowed Singapore a stronger bargaining position in the cultivation of ties with American and Japanese capitalists, as multinational corporations actively sought out a regional headquarters location in South-east Asia to expand their market presence in the region (Rodan 1989; 2006). The demand for political and economic stability led many external investors to condone the authoritarian domestic political regime in Singapore. This unique autonomy possessed by the state was nonetheless bound up with the effectiveness of policing internal affairs in Singapore. Supported by police-friendly legislation and supplemented by the strict application of high modernist planning techniques towards governing economic development, the police were able to succeed in the tasks required of them. As the 1980s beckoned, the declining fertility rate of the population sparked off a shift in emphasis towards higher value-added and capital-intensive manufacturing that would rely less on the low cost of labour (Hui 1997; Wong and Yeoh 2003). Steep increases in minimum wages were recommended to allocate resources away from labour-intensive industries, whilst opportunities for retraining and skills upgrading were offered to facilitate this transition. Immigration of low-skilled workers was permitted again after a decade’s ban on the import of foreign workers, utilising the threat of the low-wage foreign labourer penetrating local labour markets to police an economically competitive work ethic alongside nationalist sentiments (Coe and Kelly 2000; Kong and Yeoh 2003; Yeoh 2006; Yeoh and Huang 2009). As postcolonial exigencies were partially dissipated, the political focus was gradually moved towards fostering social cohesion within the young nation (Quah 2010). The regulation of the domestic sphere acquired greater importance as Singaporean society was increasingly differentiated (Chua 1995). The physical decentralisation of residential and industrial functions also necessitated a finer topographical scale of governance (Urban Redevelopment Authority 2008). Amongst the most urgent concerns was the need to establish communal belonging within the rapidly constructed public housing estates. The displacement of the residential population from urban 30  villages or kampungs, informal squatting and formal slums within the Central Area had necessitated the adoption of various forceful techniques of resettlement, which included the calibration of suitable political economic incentives (Salaff 2004) and the repeated denigration of the moral ‘backwardness’ of slum-dwellers (Oswin 2010). While these policing technologies may have succeeded in renewing the city centre for further rounds of investment, within the decentralised new towns, much work had to be done to soften the hard edges of high modernist living (Jacobs and Cairns 2008). Residents’ Committees (RCs) were introduced in 1978 at the neighbourhood level consisting of a cluster of flats, and they sought to provide opportunities for communal interactions that would foster social cohesion at the national level17 (Mauzy and Milne 2002). Concurrently, an accretion of the communal facilities of new towns took place over time, as wet markets, hawker centres, convenience stores, bus interchanges, community centres, schools, places of worship, traditional Chinese medicinal halls and public polyclinics were added to the landscape. It was against this backdrop that the neighbourhood police post made its first appearance. The state police spent the 1970s cultivating an image of professionalism through its zero tolerance policing of major crimes and political dissent (Akbur 2002), to retrofit a contemporary popular discourse. As the population was geared towards value-added manufacturing, literacy levels were improving steadily and the police needed to keep abreast of evolving societal changes in order to maintain its public authority and support (Akbur 2002). The brute application of force and the utilisation of a fear of the law would not be sufficient for the regulation of behaviours and lifestyles of the growing population (Foucault 1991). An effective deterrence against committing criminal offences had taken root thanks to the combined labour of punitive legislation targeting myriad forms of criminalised activity (Akbur 2002), the efficacious detection and prosecution work performed by law enforcement agencies (Quah 1994), and the achievable objective of upward social mobility through participation in the 17  This in no way attempts to negate the existence of informal social bonds at the local level prior to the stepping up of state-led efforts to bond communities. The increased state attention towards local community building is in fact an attempt to extend the regulation of communities through establishment of RCs (Worthington 2003). Where Grassroots Organisations were once used to rally for political support, by the 1980s the focus was more on building social cohesion (Lim 2006).  31  formal economy (Salaff 2004). However the diversification of the economy was productive of a new class of consumers and workers who would not be as easily disciplined through a direct imposition of policing work (Chua 1995). There was a need to increase the recruitment of highly educated personnel into the police force (Akbur 2002), to keep ahead of the expected challenges associated with securing political stability and economic growth through the impending demographic changes. With the tighter labour market of the late 1970s prompting the adoption of a national wage correction policy that drove up wages (Coe and Kelly 2000), the attractiveness of policing as a career was in doubt. Potential recruits had to be won over with the offer of more than an adventure-filled occupation of crime-fighting. Wage increases alongside a loosening of the rank structure to permit more promotions were recommended for the police, to attract literate members of the population to join the force whilst deterring incumbents from leaving the policing ‘community’ (Akbur 2002). Besides the imperative of professionalising the image of police work as a calling worthy for the job-commitment of educated university graduates, recruitment drives had to target more non-Malays18 in order for the police to have a good ethnic mix amongst its ranks; this was especially important in the task of policing racial and religious harmony (Akbur 2002). Prior recruitment efforts targeting the Chinese in particular had floundered upon suspicions of the loyalty of recruits when the power of communist parties and secret societies had held sway19 (Ganapathy and Lian 2002). With the battle for domestic superiority all but won, the police moved to reorganise their frontline ranks in the early 1980s in an attempt to reach out to a maturing nation. Previously, police land divisions were highly professionalised bureaucratic units operating from divisional headquarters which were physically concentrated within a small sector of each geographical region of the mainland. This limited the ability of frontline forces to meaningfully  18  Recruitment of indigenous Malays into the police administration stems from a colonial practice of preferential recruitment of Malays into public administration, as a calculative move to prevent an uprising led by the dominant Chinese immigrant population. The Malays are also valued for their perceived strong sense of loyalty to their native land, as opposed to the diasporic orientations of Chinese and Indian settlers. 19 The popular perception of police work amongst the Chinese as being physically dangerous and requiring tough manual labour also helped to limit the number of entrants into the police force.  32  engage the public20. Professionalism risked increasing the emotional distance between the public and the police in a way that was detrimental to partnerships to tackle crime (Ganapathy 2000; Akbur 2002; Sim 2011). A central objective of the NPP system was thus to project an increased police presence on the ground through the erection of an NPP within each electoral ward. The first NPP was opened in the matured public housing estate of Toa Payoh, which was at that juncture facing problems of drug abuse, hooliganism and a lack of trust in the police. These seemingly chronic neighbourhood concerns led to the installation of the first NPP in Toa Payoh, which has frequently been used as the test bed for experiments in urban planning (Urban Redevelopment Authority 2008). As the pilot police post was successfully established, the road map for planting further NPPs and a concomitant greater institutionalisation of the NPP system of policing could be effected (Quah and Quah 1987). NPPs marked an attempt at physical and organisational decentralisation by the police, serving as the outlying home base for officers from which they could easily reach out to their neighbourhood. Community policing would be practised via round-the-clock operation of the police post, conduct of frequent foot, bicycle and scooter patrols, holding frequent crime prevention talks and road shows, visiting individual apartments to encourage participation in crime risk21 surveys, and offering free crime prevention advice and associated services like the engraving of one’s personal belongings (Quah and Quah 1987). Neighbourhood block watches were set up with the help of RCs, and a Police Boys’ Club was established to take care of at-risk juveniles deemed prone to committing crimes. Operationally, the move towards NPPs was practical as it sought to educate residents on crime prevention measures they could take to enhance their own safety and well-being. This was opposed to having the police personally conduct vertical patrols in each block of flats in order to deter crime or nab suspects (Quah and Quah 1987). Hosting mini-police stations within the heart of outlying neighbourhoods also facilitated greater 20  One can speculate that the genealogy of centralised police forces can be traced to the colonial authorities’ reliance on informal social control mechanisms through the assistance of local ‘chieftains’ at the level of the village, clan, or trade union. 21 Ericson and Haggerty (1997) have attributed the embrace of community policing by Western police forces to the communication of risk within a paradigm of neoliberalism. While their argument highlights the shift in thinking towards prioritising risk management technologies, it inadvertently privileges a mode of bureaucratic rationality that obscures the affective, historically-grounded properties of community policing.  33  interactions between the police and the community that they served. Symbolically, the planting of NPPs over the island represented an active territorialisation of the national heartland by the police following the triumphant establishment of a safe interior space in the 1970s (Akbur 2002). Locally, NPPs could serve as important physical and metaphorical landmarks within residential neighbourhoods, providing a recognisable signpost amidst the emptiness of void decks (R. Goh 2005). Not only did it become a norm for lost newcomers to a housing estate to approach the Neighbourhood Police Post Officer (NPPO) for directions, but NPPs provided a communal moral compass to guide the lifestyles of wayward youths and opportunist criminals back onto the right track, and to arbitrate between disputing neighbours. The NPP style of community policing was intensely bound up with the newly institutionalised crime prevention effort (Quah 1994; Ganapathy 2000). NPPOs were to serve as frontline officers spreading the message of crime prevention through their interactions with the local community. In socialising the new owners of state-subsidised public housing on the adequate procedures for safeguarding their expensively acquired property, crime prevention via community policing set out to normalise the range of acceptable behaviours for homeownercitizens that would undergird prudent consumption in the decades to come (Kong and Yeoh 2003; Salaff 2004; R. Goh 2005). The physical home had become the dominant asset of individual Singaporean households, with the house extending beyond a matter of personal shelter and site of social reproduction to become an incubator of personal space and a tool of financial investment (Jacobs and Cairns 2008). Under these circumstances, the private self began to attach itself more closely to the house. Crime prevention was publicised via a series of preventive measures targeting the occurrences of five major preventable crimes: robbery in homes, housebreaking, snatch theft, theft of/from vehicle, and outrage of modesty (Quah 1994). These crimes were deemed preventable because a majority of such legally-defined incidents had occurred in public places, where it was thought that the presence of adequate social control mechanisms would have reduced the occurrences of crime (e.g. Clarke 1980; Sim 2011).  34  In its clear bias towards property crime, crime prevention sought to consolidate the boundaries of private property in ways that secured the self-interests of homeowners. Prevention advice thus stressed the sanctity of the home as something that must be protected through various security measures. The bolting off of entry points, the strengthening of access-control points through improved surveillance, and the formation of neighbourhood watches to supplement individual watchfulness signalled to the potential burglar that one’s house would not be an easy target for housebreaking. Crime prevention advice would be tagged to its primary target audience of the reproducers of households: homemakers, elderly dependents, young children, low-wage foreign workers22 and at-risk teens and unemployed persons (see Quah 1994; Sim 2011; and Chapter 4). The need to educate those who were thought to be vulnerable to crime (as both victim and perpetrator) during the work day, when dutiful working adults would be away from home, directed the tone and feel of segmented23 crime prevention messages. But keeping one’s neighbourhood safe from crime was a duty for everyone when it became important for one’s future well-being (Quah 1994); as a nascent property market for the resale of public housing units took root (Salaff 2004), resale values of housing units could ostensibly be pegged unto the publicly available crime rates of a neighbourhood. Crime prevention then acquired salience as a prudent investment strategy for potential homeowner-traders. The cumulative outcome of these measures would be to socialise a new lifestyle within the domestic consumer: crime prevention sought to impose itself on the grammar of everyday life (Certeau 1984) of the homeowner-citizen24. From the enforcement of the legal contract, the police had expanded into servicing the state’s social compact in no less visible ways. As individual households were accosted through regular house visits and foot and bicycle patrols, they were interpellated as state subjects whose obligation would be to prevent crime from 22  Initially this was primarily targeted at the foreign-national construction worker, vulnerable to thefts and robberies at construction sites and dormitories. This has widened over time to include the foreign domestic helper (Sim 2011). 23 Even within a targeted risk group of the population, further categorisations are needed to ensure the message is put across with precision. For instance, elderly populations living in one or two-room public housing flats are highlighted as being more vulnerable to crime than their aged counterparts. At-risk youths also refer specifically to students from Polytechnics and Institute of Technical Education centres, who have been segregated from their ‘academically-inclined’ peers at an early stage of their lives. 24 The tagline used in the 1989 prevention campaign, ‘Crime Prevention – Make it a Way of Life’ makes no bones about this.  35  taking place on their property. Property crime posed a threat to the disciplining of the work ethic in its ability to spread tales about the relative ease with which criminals can make off with illicit gains through the commission of crime. The state, in particular the police, was keen to uphold the prevailing compact of economic success through hard work and sacrifice. Criminals’ capability to get away scot-free would be severely reduced through the dissemination of crime prevention awareness and the cultivation of police-public ties that would foster more reporting of criminal activities to the police (Quah and Quah 1987). However, what was at stake was not merely the application of a situational crime prevention approach that rationalised the incidence of crime through an opportunist framework in which a criminal will strike given the opportunity to do so (Clarke 1980). Crucially, crime prevention sought to enact the very model of rational self-interested thought it espoused (Rose 1999), through sealing off opportunities for different understandings of ‘self’, thereby affecting the quality of one’s exchanges with the environment. Self-interest prevails when preserving the self takes priority in the response to a looming emergency; when one thinks twice before opening the door to strangers, when one clutches on to her handbag tightly in the face of oncoming human and vehicular traffic, and when one is constantly on the lookout for suspicious-looking people loitering around the void decks of housing estates. Of course, crime prevention does possess many benefits in its purported ability to reduce the occurrences of crime and the fear of crime amongst vulnerable sections of society. The point here is to complicate simple analyses of the success of crime prevention measures (e.gs. Quah 1994; Sim 2011), which restrict their measurements to publicly available crime statistics produced by the police or broad-based social surveys carried out by various researchers. I argue that crime prevention was not only performative of its preventative logic with regards to crime, but it was also performative of a liberal economic rationality (Rose 1999) which served to entrench the culture of pragmatism (Kong 2000) within Singapore. Amidst the opening up of consumption channels in the 1980s, the new class of homeowners had to be reminded that their propertied success should not be taken for granted (Chua 1995; Chua and Tan 1999). Individuals and individual households were to keep a constant look-out for the criminal/economically competitive other who could always 36  be lurking in the shadows of one’s success. Taking one’s foot off the acceleration pedal in the zero-sum race for economic survival would be foolish, comparable to the failure to lock up before leaving one’s apartment which results in the loss of personal artefacts. Amidst the taking off of a resale market for public housing properties in the move towards asset enhancement for homeowner-citizens, the fastening of an NPP to the neighbourhood and efforts at creating a low-crime environment could be touted as selling points by property traders. Lastly, crime prevention also targeted a new class of consumers, as consumer products were made available to a larger proportion of the population for the first time. As households saved up adequate amounts for retirement and the education needs of their offspring and paid off the home loans for their flats, purse strings could finally be released. The installation of electronics assembly plants producing outputs aimed at both the local and export markets paved the way for electronic consumerables to hit local markets and meet pent-up consumer demand (Rodan 1989). The accessibility of consumer products like electronic devices, clothing, motor vehicles and interior designing objects provided avenues for the accumulation of personal spaces of individuality (Chua 1995), in ways rendered legible by crime prevention advisories that stress the need for taking due care of one’s private belongings. However, crime prevention messages also targeted a class of youthful consumers who freely ‘flaunted’ their new-found material wealth on the streets. In highlighting careless acts of conspicuous consumption, crime prevention sought to reduce the visibility of an income gap which had permitted different degrees of consumption. The ‘politics of envy’ could be dissipated by a crime prevention warning that criminals target conspicuous consumers, assuring the nations’ core constituency of working and middle class ‘heartlanders’ (R. Goh 2005) that those who are rich are also constantly kept on their toes (c.f. Chua and Tan 1999). Simultaneously, crime prevention was aimed at both ordinary consumers and potential offenders in light of new consumption habits. Crime prevention sought to encourage the virtues of fiscal discipline and responsible budgeting which were attainable through living within one’s means. Dispelling the myth of easy money and consumption being an end in itself, Singaporeans were reminded that  37  sustainable economic success was achievable only through sound long-term investments and prudent expenditures.  Preventing Crime Crime prevention provided the raison d’être of the NPP policing system, and it also served as a social ticket for conversations between police officers and residents and amongst residents. As NPPOs went about their daily patrols in the residential heartlands, residents were socialised on the technology of crime prevention, and warmed up to the presence of the police in the vicinity of their neighbourhood. This segment explores how the technology of crime prevention is used to normalise the behaviours of homeowner-citizens. In so doing, it delves into the grounded messy realities of community policing, moving beyond the broad framework provided by a political economic analysis to gain a nuanced appreciation of community policing in practice. I use the term ‘technology’ to refer to the ‘forms of knowledge, skill, diagrams, charts, calculations and energy which makes its (crime prevention’s) use possible’ (Barry 2001:9). There exists a need to open up the ‘black box’ of crime prevention to examine the method assemblage (Law 2004) that enacts the latter. In order for crime to be fitted into crime prevention messages, it had to undergo a series of abstractions. Crime was firstly abstracted into categories of preventable property and violent crimes, as a list of the five preventable crimes occurring in the residential heartlands was put up (Quah 1994). The act of listing categorises criminal offences as they occur, facilitating the compilation of statistics from which one can discern crime trends. Crimes are classified according to the identification of certain legalistically-inflected, stylised performances under Common Law traditions derived from the colonial authorities25. Through the investigation process, the criminal offence is reconstructed with a view towards apprehending and prosecuting suspects who had committed the act. When reconstructed crimes spot a similar 25  The process of classifying cases is nevertheless much more complicated in reality, with officers affected by the need to meet Key Performance Indicators, or the expectations of direct superiors, for instance.  38  pattern over a period of time, or when particular categories of criminal offences increase in frequency over a period of time, it is recorded as a rising crime trend that warrants attention. Crime prevention reviews the incidences of particularly-patterned crimes to identify the perceived modus operandi26 of the offender(s), in order to formulate appropriate prevention tactics that seek to deter, delay and detect the onset of a particular category of crime (Quah 1994). However, crime prevention ambitiously seeks to pre-empt the criminal from striking first through its belief that ‘prevention is better than cure’ (Sim 2011). Rather than adopted as a reactive measure in the wake of a rising crime trend, a list of situational preventive strategies is first drawn up and widely disseminated. Thus while it may be reasonable to assume that the original list of tactics would be compiled based upon a decent historical study of crime patterns, the list gets ‘black-boxed’ as it is packaged into tidy crime prevention tidbits for dissemination. Transaction costs deter a re-visiting of the list when it is repeatedly summoned to raise public awareness of a crime trend. The objective of instilling a change in habits (Quah 1994) also refuses the frequent addition of new items onto the list. Significantly new developments are needed to force a change to the list: for instance, the evolution of technologies in financial instruments or computers, which give rise to new variants of crimes and criminal modus operandi. Over time, new lists or sub-lists of measures will be drawn up in accordance with social trends (Sim 2011) like the mass-production of various consumerables like clothing, synthetic drugs, alcoholic beverages, alcopops, motor vehicles, mobile phones and video camera-equipped mobile phones, or the entrance of new entertainment options like the casino which creates new risks of problem gambling and syndicated crime. But while there will be amendments to the complete toolkit of preventive measures, the overall result is still a relatively stable set of preventive measures that purportedly guard against particular idealtypical categories of preventable crime (see Table 3.1). Little wonder then that the list of the five major preventable crimes has remained unchanged over three decades, and now constitutes several of the Key Performance Indicators of neighbourhood police officers (Personal Interview with Police Historian).  26  The modus operandi of a criminal refers to his/her mode of operations. Naturally, it would appear ironic that ‘opportunistic’ crimes can bear the imprints of carefully planned and rationalised ‘modus operandi’.  39  Table 3.1: Snatch Theft Crime Prevention Advice over the Years 1986 2011 Avoid short cuts through alleys and dark Avoid short cuts through dark or places deserted areas Always keep to well-lit areas Always keep to well-lit areas Carry your handbag on the side away Carry your sling bag in front of you, or from moving traffic, and hold it close to clasp it firmly under your arm your body Always walk facing oncoming traffic Always walk facing oncoming traffic Carry a whistle or shrill alarm Never leave your bag unattended, especially in crowded places Do not flaunt cash in public view Do not flaunt cash in public view Avoid wearing excessive jewellery, or Avoid wearing excessive jewellery, or carrying large amounts of cash carrying large amounts of cash Attempt to empty the contents of the Use cashless transaction such as NETS27, bag to frustrate the thief credit cards, cheques, etc. Do not put up resistance if confronted by Do not put up resistance if confronted by a snatch thief a snatch theft Sources: Crime Watch Episode 1 (1986) [Video] Singapore: Singapore Broadcasting Corporation; Public Affairs Department (2011) Snatch Theft Crime Prevention [Brochure], Singapore: SPF.  Crime prevention technologies are manifested as ‘obligatory passage points’ (Latour and Woolgar 1986) for those who seek protection from the vicissitudes of criminal activity. This splitting of crime prevention advice from the original settings of crimes and its subsequent reattachment to the generic crime reproduces crime prevention advisories that become consolidated as ‘truth spots’ over time (Latour and Woolgar 1986). This process is however highly tedious and uneven, necessitating encouragements, negotiations and experimentations with the content and medium of prevention advisories over time in order to get its message across (Sim 2011). For instance, securing the participation and financial support of the private sector proved rather tricky at the outset. Pragmatic concerns over the costs of security devices (such as closed-circuit television and alarm systems) and the utility of associating one’s company’s brand with crime prevention messages inhibited support for the government’s crime prevention campaign. This had led to the institutionalisation of the National Crime Prevention Council28, to provide a platform for the authorities to lobby the private sector to discuss security concerns, and to fund the various crime prevention initiatives (Sim 2011). 27  Network for Electronic Transfers The National Crime Prevention Council is a Voluntary Welfare Organisation that does not receive any government funding for its day-to-day operations (Sim 2011). 28  40  Getting the right composition of crime prevention messages is also important, with designers using colour, design, themes and taglines to evoke the desired affect (Sim 2011). Once successful, the conferring of such an expertise to crime prevention advisories in a form of technopower (Mitchell 2002) provokes a social craving amongst anxious members of the population (see Yao 2007), playing upon the fear of crime29 to promote a normalised way of living (Pain and Smith 2008). The effect of repetition of similar messages is reinforced by the publicity of favourable crime statistics that are attributed to the effectiveness of crime prevention campaigns. This virtuous cycle of propagation is made possible through the additional application of four techniques: (i) banalisation of crime prevention messages; (ii) aggrandisement of crime; (iii) moralisation of crime; and (iv) displacement of the resolution of crime. These will be elaborated in turn. A basic premise necessary for crime prevention to foster a new perception in the individual is the prevalence of the message. To facilitate easy learning, the message is firstly simplified, reduced to short and catchy sound-bites that would impress upon individual memories. For instance, ‘low crime doesn’t mean no crime’ is a common refrain heard as part of the alert that encourages vigilance amongst ordinary citizens even when crime rates have dropped; motorists are advised to ‘Lock, Look, Leave’ each time they park their vehicles; while ‘Tis’ the season to be jolly, not sorry’ is part of the chorus of advisories that make up the annual year-end festive crime prevention campaign (see Sim 2011 for more examples). A popularisation of the message creates the platform for mass dissemination of crime prevention awareness. For this, the putting up of numerous anti-crime pins, stickers, posters, pamphlets and advertisements, the broadcast of Crime Watch (see Chapter 4) and the roping in of celebrities and politicians for routine crime prevention carnivals function as useful tools for outreach. The socialisation of young children constitutes another part of the strategy. Resources for crime prevention such as commemorative trinkets, storybooks and free engraving services that are made available to the young help stimulate interest in crime prevention, fostering a stronger awareness of crime prevention in the formative years of child development (Quah 1994). 29  While several prevention messages attempt to play up their ‘cuteness’, invoke humour, or provoke ‘bold’ thinking, fear remains the pervasive guiding force of crime prevention messages.  41  Figures 3.1 and 3.2: Split-Poster Crime Prevention Series of 2008 Source: Public Affairs Department (2008) Crime Prevention Posters [Poster] Singapore: SPF. (The poster on the right is an example of a ‘bold’ approach to prevention. It was eventually taken off public advertisement boards because it was deemed religiously insensitive by some members of the public)  The combination of these measures is the banalisation of crime prevention within the spaces of everyday life30. Crime prevention is serially applied to the public through different rhythms of everyday life. Daily sightings of anti-crime ‘immutable mobiles’ (Latour and Woolgar 1986) such as the stickers pasted on a neighbour’s door frame and above a shop’s cash counter, occasional patronage of crime prevention road shows, biannual house visits by NPPOs, and annual festive crime prevention campaigns interweave to strengthen the background presence of crime prevention. If the measure of effectiveness of crime prevention is located in the actual practice of prevention measures in the spaces of everyday life, the use of mnemonic aids and diagrammatic illustrations facilitate easy recall in these split-second moments (see Figures 3.1 30  Rather unexpectedly, the banalisation of the crime prevention message ensures the technical imprecision of the actual message in communication drives. For instance, an individual drilled on more than one lists of prevention measures may become confused as to which set of measures purportedly guards against which particular crime type. With the proliferation of crime prevention messages, the only stable outcome may in fact be a fear of crime.  42  and 3.2) when an individual chooses to lock the door after leaving his/her apartment, or to take the stairs when a suspicious character is spotted loitering around the waiting area for lifts. The accustoming of habits makes the task of crime prevention easier, when the little steps of prevention measures are embedded within daily routines in a non-intrusive manner. One may speculate that it is through the cultivation of such habits of the mind that the individual develops a blasé, reserved and dispassionate stance towards the stranger in the metropolis (Simmel 1997). Alerted to the prevalence of crime in the urban jungle of modernising Singapore, individuals are geared for a conditioned response of either fight or flight in any potential encounters with a criminal. Where the situational proprieties of crime prevention sanction a criminalising gaze upon suspicious-looking strangers in public places, crime prevention technologies serve to normalise the range of acceptable public behaviours (Goffman 1963). Despite the seemingly innocuous banality of crime prevention messages, crime prevention routinely tightens the boundaries of situational proprieties in ways that discourage individuals from stepping out of line. But therein lies a central paradox of the practice of community policing when it is driven by crime prevention. Crime prevention certainly provides many triangulating spots for the fostering of social cohesion, from chatting with a neighbour in the lift or along a corridor about a recent crime trend, to experiencing a sense of togetherness at communal events that rally support for prevention measures. The establishment of Neighbourhood Watch Groups (NWGs) takes this a step further when neighbours agree to look out for one another’s property, especially when a neighbour takes an extended leave of absence from his/her property. Through these measures, crime prevention helps to override traditional forms of civil inattention accorded to public places in rather complicated ways. However, while neighbours are henceforth encouraged to look out for one another under the rationale of preventing crime, members of the public are nonetheless challenged to stare at deviant others in public places. Loitering youths, persons in hoods with their faces partially concealed, strangers ‘bumping’ into oneself in crowded places, and unaccompanied men ‘rushing’ to catch an elevator are recognisable as signs of inappropriate behaviour that is associated with that of the criminal. Despite the multifarious reasons for such expressions of 43  public behaviour, situational crime prevention is compelled to simplify its central take-home message for those deemed vulnerable to crime: such out-of-the-ordinary behaviours are to be viewed with suspicion as markers of deviancy and ought to be reported to the police. Finally, what is more insidious is the cultivation of self-preservation amidst a rapidly urbanising world. Practised repeatedly, crime prevention is performative of an inwardly-focused defensiveness undergirded by a calculative disposition that seeks to protect one’s life and well-being. The individual and the community then co-exist uneasily within the neighbourhood, affecting domestic consumption and social cohesion in complex ways. A second technique for translating crime prevention requires the further abstraction of the different categories of crimes to form an overarching Crime as a target for interventions. The earlier tagline of ‘low crime doesn’t mean no crime’ is an example; another would be ‘crime does not pay’, and ‘together we can fight crime’ (Sim 2011). These abstractions facilitate the blending together of an entire gamut of criminal offences into an amorphous, evasive, extremely dangerous and terrifying Crime. Crime becomes abstracted as an extraordinary event that is utterly disruptive of the routines of everyday life, damaging property and wrecking relationships in many households and communities. Crime as the bane of society and the source of great pain and suffering demands the individual take precautionary steps to prevent its emergence within a given situation (Quah 1994). This extrapolation and enlargement ad infinitum of Crime necessarily attaches itself to the banalisation of crime prevention. For it is amidst the hum-drum of everyday life in the residential heartlands that Crime shatters the peace of living. Criminal events may have decreased considerably from the tumultuous 1960s, but the public must be warned against being lulled into complacency (Akbur 2002). Thus crime prevention has to be ingrained in the activities of everyday life, to guard against the extraordinary criminal event. The position of crime would henceforth occupy a distinct niche within the buzz of everyday communications, as stories of crime gain increased prominence in conversations. The ability to bear witness to a crime deserves mention because of its rare occurrence and its serious consequences (Quah 1994), and ironically, the banalisation of crime prevention information has created a pent-up pressure for individual vindication and cathartic 44  release (cf. Garland 2001). A successful application of this technique clearly does not rest entirely with a conscious practice of community policing. The fall in crime rates is attributable to wider socioeconomic changes that have increasingly sought to regulate the employed worklives of Singaporeans (e.gs. Rodan 1989; Chua 1995; Salaff 2004). Nonetheless, the diminished occurrence of crime renders it pliable for an aggrandisement of the criminal event through a play on the fear of Crime. Over the years, as the police have worked towards a greater professionalisation of their image, the extraordinariness of Crime can be easily complemented by the extraordinariness of crime-fighting as a career or hobby. This has in fact become the slogan for recruitment advertisements for the Police and the Volunteer Special Constabulary, which highlight the non-mundane aspects of the job amidst a highly regulated modern work environment (see Chapter 5). Thirdly, crime prevention technology invokes a claim to moral authority. This is a familiar technique used to help the audience make sense of the purpose of crime prevention. In the state-authored texts of crime prevention, prevention advisories are best illustrated through stories. These stories are more akin to parables with morals that must be picked up by audiences. This technique explains the didacticism of crime prevention messages, whose common aim is to serve up learnable morals to the masses at the end of the story. Morals serve as technologies of the self (Foucault 1991), guiding behaviour in ways that can purportedly prevent crime, whilst translating abstract legal terminologies into practicable actions which shape the contours of everyday sociality of state subjects. Crime prevention however sought not merely to distinguish between Good and Evil, but it simultaneously sought to pander to the personal righteousness of state subjects through the cultivation of a self-righteous ethic that disavowed the transpiration of criminal activity (Rose 2000). Such moralising is capable of cultivating a strong sense of righteous indignation when the affective notions of justice are aligned to the criminal justice system in ways that confer legitimacy upon it whilst masking the problems wrought by various presumptions of self-righteousness. Accordingly, morality tales also allow the police to provide pastoral leadership over the population (Foucault 1991).  45  Perhaps this is the ultimate goal of the NPP system of community policing: to allow the police to transit from being mere agents of law enforcement and criminal detection to becoming moral guardians of order. In disseminating crime prevention advice to the public through the establishment of more contact points and the cultivation of friendly ties with neighbours, and in serving as impartial mediators between disputing parties, NPPOs sought to present a warm and familiar face of the police to the public (Quah and Quah 1987). Foot and bicycle patrols, house visits and crime prevention talks helped nurture a self-image of moral guardians within the police, as rank-and-file officers were taught the value of proactive communication over reactive confrontation (Skolnick and Bayley 1988). Holding back a brute application of force in order to communicate well-intentioned, sensible advice, the police opted for engagement over the reliance on legal powers to coerce compliance. Accordingly, they sought to invoke not only civic consciousness but personal righteousness (Rose 2000) which would be able to prompt the public to stay away from leading ‘a life of crime’, to provide details of criminal offences to the police, to keep a watchful eye of criminal offending in the neighbourhood, and to take care of their individual belongings. Alas, when power operates from a legal basis and harnesses selfinterest to guide one’s actions against the criminal Other, the risks of self-righteousness are aplenty when guilt is easily displaced onto the criminal Other31. The final technique for preventing crime lies in the action of prevention itself. A tagline frequently used in crime prevention advisories provides the clue to this: ‘prevention is better than cure’. Crime prevention chooses to focus upon displacing the occurrence of crime rather than resolving criminogenic affairs. Although this may not be equally true for all types of crime, it bears greater resonance once the lists of preventative measures have been drawn up and are taken to be ‘truth spots’ (Latour and Woolgar 1986). The practice of situational crime prevention frames criminal activity as the outcome of rational decision-making, rendering crime impossible to be eradicated when it can strike so long as opportunities exist. In so doing, crime  31  This is perhaps most explicit in the crime prevention videos Prison Me? No Way! (1998) and Girls don’t go to prison (1999). Here, the horrors of prison-living are used to frighten at-risk youths into avoiding a ‘life of crime’. Police presenters are seen chastising prisoners for their crimes, whilst offenders take to the camera to deliver confessional statements professing their guilt and remorse at wrongdoing.  46  prevention becomes a technical issue of maintaining close control over the little things that allow criminal activities to take place (Garland 2001). An unlatched door or an unlocked window when no one is at home, a loosely-gripped handbag on approaching a physically-able stranger, displayed jewellery on defenceless bodies when the usual defenders of the weak are not around, a skimpy outfit on a female body in a confined space with male others, and valuables left unattended inside a car parked in a secluded area become targeted as objects of police intervention. The need to secure the context of criminal opportunities logically implies having to chase a moving target. Under these circumstances, the police have no choice but to rope in members of the public to take greater care of their own belongings, alongside serving as the eyes and ears of the police. Lists of preventive measures are drawn up in response to empirical patterns of criminal activity, but replace the context of context with the (re)production of generic contextual settings for the commission of crime32. Crime prevention outreach then socialises residents into taking small steps to change their daily routines in order to be safe, not sorry. The requirements of self-policing are extended from that of abiding by the law, to helping to police others’ recalcitrant behaviours, and to prevent and detect preventable crime. Additionally, prevention also pays attention to urban design of the environment (Sim 2011). Safety features are mounted onto the physical landscape in the hope of designing out crime. The pre-emptive logic of crime prevention is thus incorporated into the blueprints of new buildings to reduce opportunities for crime. Mini-Jacobsian sidewalk diagrams33 are inserted into urban designs to facilitate greater social interaction alongside the deterrence of crime. Incorporating safety design features early on is preferable to retrofitting them later on. This framing of crime prevention as a technical object of enquiry inadvertently ignores the rehabilitative dimensions of criminology, content to displace criminal activity in time and space.  32  One could speculate that the dissemination of crime prevention information has affected how particular offences are visualised within the popular imagination, which in turn has an effect on how potential crimes are actualised. 33 These are derived from Jane Jacobs’ works on the city (e.g. Jacobs 1961). Her progressive vision of the sidewalk ballet has nonetheless been re-appropriated by many situational crime prevention proponents. These designs emphasise the integration of aesthetics with functionability in the creation of defensible spaces of everyday living.  47  In addition, an over-concern with the security of generic situations can also be counterproductive. Members of the public drilled on the nuts and bolts of crime prevention advice are likely to ‘go through the motions’ when being forced to attend a crime prevention briefing specially catered for them. Perceiving the information as being too abstract and/or too didactic to warrant their attention, audiences are likely to hear, but not listen. The overly-rationalistic situational prevention strategies may also breed an atmosphere of cynicism when individuals start to dwell upon its epistemology34. The real threat is when an affective equivalence is produced each time a crime prevention message is broadcast, or when individuals encounter what they believe corresponds to the generic situation that they have been alerted to (Anderson and Adey 2011). Primed for a self-preserving response to the normalised imminent danger that one is about to be exposed to, the individual assumes a defensive posture that is increasingly unsociable. Crime prevention via community policing resonated with the residential population in various ways. The frequent visible presence of NPPOs within the vicinity of one’s neighbourhood, the approachability of frontline officers for help with assorted tasks, the hospitality of police posts, the reduced occurrences of criminal activities, the (self) righteousness of relaying crime prevention messages and putting them into practice, and the calculability of criminal behaviours combined in complex ways to make NPPOs a largely welcomed presence in one’s neighbourhood. The success of NPPs was perhaps most clearly reflected in the continuous addition of NPPs over the period from 1983 to 1995, and in the formation of over 10,000 NWGs in the same period (Akbur 2002). In reinforcing a strong work ethic and self-interest within the population (see Rose 1999), crime prevention also chimed well with the evolving historical context of the 1980s and thus readied the nation for challenges in the next lap35.  34  One can of course trace the lineage of situational crime prevention to the birth of the school of situational interactionists (Goffman 1959; 1963). While both social theories similarly contain many flaws, a crucial difference lies in that while the latter seeks to excavate the institutionalisation of everyday social norms from the background in the service of progressive aims, the former seeks to extend and reproduce social norms through the foregrounding of generic situational contexts in order to fulfil institutional objectives. 35 A reference to the sub-heading of the 1991 Concept Plan, a document which would guide Singapore’s urban development for the next 10 years (Urban Redevelopment Authority 2008).  48  Rescaling Community Policing Community policing underwent a significant change in 1997, as the Singapore Police Force took steps to restructure its organisation and urban architecture. While the NPP system of community policing was widely regarded as a success, the time had come for community policing to evolve according to changes in the wider political economy. Economic globalisation had plugged the Singaporean economy more firmly into the world-economy. The ‘flying geese phenomena’ of moving low-valued production to places with lower labour costs had accelerated throughout the 1980s (Fröbel et al. 1980), vindicating the government’s decision to move into value-added manufacturing in the late 1970s. Nonetheless economic restructuring continued to be a painful process for many, and this was most evident in the 1985-1986 economic recession which raised unemployment figures and generated the first annual budget deficit for the Civil Service in the post-independence era (Quah 2010). This episode strengthened the government’s resolve to diversify the economy through tertiarisation and the staking out of new niches within the field of biomedical sciences. As the services sector began to serve as the second engine of the national economy, urban restructuring had to take place as the physical landscape was re-made to facilitate the provision and consumption of services (Yeoh and Chang 2001; Kong and Yeoh 2003; Olds and Yeung 2004). While consumption was stimulated with the advice of prudent spending in the 1980s, the social compact had to be changed in accordance with more confident consumption (Chua 1995). An increased assertiveness of individual rights had inevitably accompanied the creation of private spaces of consumption, which had traditionally been out of bounds of state regulation. Separately, the privileging of personalised consumption stoked fears amongst the ruling elites of the rise of consumerist individualism and the demise of the community. These factors would play a part in the reorganisation of community policing within the SPF. Economic restructuring also opened up opportunities for Singaporeans and Singaporean capital to venture abroad. The setting up of regional headquarters of multinational corporations to capitalise on the opening up of regional markets could be staffed by Singaporeans who 49  commanded high English language proficiency and who were disciplined by a rigorous state education system (Gopinathan 2007). The accumulation of national and private savings by the state and Singaporeans also facilitated foreign investments in neighbouring emerging markets (Sparke et al. 2004). A new-found confidence in an East Asian system of governance undergirded much of the optimistic economic outlook (e.g. Douglass 1994); pundits may well have identified the successes of community policing in Japan and Singapore as an indicator of a communitarian ethos in Asian societies. In fact, the Singaporean government had been quick to speculate on the links between the successes of the ‘East Asian Tigers’ of Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore, and a communitarian ethic of neo-Confucian societies. In 1988, the government drew upon a widely-publicised study by economists to buttress its claim that Singapore was part of an East Asian culture that was different from the West (Chua 1995; 1998). In this, Singapore’s foreign policy would no longer be articulated in terms of being an oasis of calm within a region of instability. The emerging first-world city-state would instead belong to a rising East Asian regional bloc united by the presence of shared Asian values. If geopolitics is a discourse to achieve political goals through making sense of international space (O’Tuathail et al. 1998), the region is a particular scalar construct that rationalised the location of a state in her neighbouring environment (Paasi 1991). The propagation of a shared Asian identity served many functions. Firstly, it sought to explain the rise of the East Asian Tiger economies in culturalist terms rather than through political economic factors. Evacuated of the power relations in politicking and the inequities of capitalist development, the success of the Newly Industrialised Economies is explained through the essence of unchanging Confucian values which promote hard work, discipline, thriftiness, respect for authority and care for one’s community (Chua 1998). This provided a rallying point for the patriarchal state to embark on yet another moral suasion campaign to warn its citizens of the ills of ‘Western liberal individualism’ which was alleged to be the source of reckless consumerism, selfish individualism and of the corruption of collective virtues. Through an inversion of the classical Orientalist discourse (Said 1978), the West was caricatured as a repository of anarchy and feckless individualism. Singaporeans were therefore 50  reminded of the need for fiscal planning, social discipline and political consensus, if they wanted to continue achieving economic success in the new world-economy. The ability of this discourse to resonate with the population was nonetheless to be found in the prolonged propagation of ‘anti-yellow culture’36 discourses that reflected the moral conservatism of the ruling elite (Yao 2007). Many decades’ work in consolidating conservative moral values was further boosted by the dissemination of crime prevention messages that stoked greater (self) righteousness within Singaporeans. While invoking distinctly North-east Asian Confucian values gave the truth to the lie of multiracialism, the economic performances of the Chinese populace were re-rationalised as providing sufficient proof of the superiority of ‘Confucian’ values. Averting political disquiet amongst conservative sections of society who were uneasy with the rise of consumerism and the loosening of kinship ties in the wake of greater mobility, the ruling party turned to the promotion of Shared Asian Values to buttress its moral standing amongst large swathes of the population (Chua 1995). Secondly, the inscription of culturalist values provided a political economic resource with which to market the city-state to foreign investors (Velayutham 2007). As opposed to explaining economic success, Asian values were performative of the very success they highlighted. The 1990s marked the beginning of a regionalisation strategy that sought to promote the internationalisation of Singaporean capital alongside the attraction of foreign capital into highvalue added manufacturing and services (Kong 1999). Assuring East Asian investors of the commonality of an East Asian heritage encouraged cross-border trade and facilitated a deeper integration into the world-economy. The invocation of a New Asian identity (this time building upon the Orientalist imaginary) also laid the groundwork for an astute marketing strategy that would later promote Singapore as a choice for investment and tourism through the emphasis of it being a blend of the West and the East, a fusion of Western modernity and Eastern heritage (D. Goh 2010).  36  This is a translation of the Chinese phrase huangse wenhua, which refers to the consumption of products like pornographic articles, romance novels and crime and fantasy pulp fiction.  51  Thirdly, the communitarian discourse served to legitimise a responsibility among the community for its own well-being (Rose 1999). An increased economic individualism productive of individual rights had to be managed through the counter-assertion of individual responsibility for one’s community. Challenging demographic trends that predicted an ageing population, falling fertility rates and increased numbers of unmarried adults would in general confer a greater burden for social reproduction onto individual Singaporeans. With the inadequacies of the prevailing social security nets contrasted against the inevitable widening of income gaps through participation in the world-economy, the state realised it faced certain limits to effective governance (Rose 1999). As shorthand for the variegated social groupings that an individual is a part of, the community would have to step in, if it had not already done so, to alleviate the expected shortfall of resources for social reproduction which would disproportionately affect certain sections of the population. The espousal of community selfhelp would thus feature prominently within state discourses from the 1990s onwards. Community self-help was a pragmatic response by the state in furtherance of its multiracialism discourse. With the heavy-handed policing of racial boundaries, each compartmentalised social grouping or ‘race’ had to do its part to help out socioeconomically disadvantaged members of the racial community. Harking back to the immigrant clan associations of colonial society which were set up to care for neglected members under the colonial regime (Turnbull 1989), ethnic self-help groups were now tasked with tending to the welfare of their respective poor, through the institutionalisation of educational bodies in charge of disbursing educational grants to needy school children from low-income families. Help rendered by the different racial communities however remained rather uneven; the ‘burden’ of policing racial ‘fault lines’ (Rahim 2009) obstructed the fostering of broad-based inter-racial social movements that could challenge the hegemonising narratives of the government and alleviate the structural causes of poverty (Li 1989). In these moves, the state began to target the newly-affluent middle class by appealing to their sensibilities to contribute back to society through participation in social programmes operated by self-help communities to reach the less fortunate (Chua 1995). The primary purpose of self-help was however to assist recipients of partial welfare to stand up on their own feet and secure gainful employment (Peck 2001). Self-help schemes were not meant 52  to be permanent or providing for complete welfare. This would compel recipients to maintain their work ethic through a lifelong process of learning. Retraining to upgrade their job skills to boost economic productivity or to find formal employment would become the new normal of a globalised, competitive economic landscape. Within this new urban operating environment, the police faced new challenges to the fulfilment of their mandates. The NPP system of community policing had run its due course and discourses were mobilised to warrant a change in the organisational structure and style of community policing (Singh 2000). Discourses employed include: (i) an uneven spread of NPPs in the new urban landscape; (ii) the small scale of NPPs failing to cope with demands for policing; (iii) the performances of ‘non-core policing duties’ by NPPOs; (iv) a compartmentalisation of duties under the old system that obstructed the transmission of information; and (v) the lack of synergies with other state bodies. In each of these discourses, the case for rescaling community policing was evident and will be discussed. These discourses paved the way for the implementation of the Neighbourhood Police Centre (NPC) system of community policing. The first NPC was to be opened in the matured estate of Queenstown, located just outside the city centre. This would be followed in quick succession by other NPCs located within the Western region, before the system spread to encompass other regions of Singapore. The discourses for rescaling will now be covered in order. Discourse 1: Redistribution of Resources to Achieve a More Equitable Outcome The problem with the NPP system of policing was that the demand and supply of police resources were not in sync, with certain places experiencing a greater increase in population growth and/or a change in land use (Singh 2000; and Personal Interview with Police Historian). For instance, the new towns of Sembawang, Yishun and Pasir Ris were only fully constructed and inhabited from the early 1990s. The expansion of the residential ‘heartlands’ meant they had to be similarly serviced by NPPs, to ensure the equal treatment of the populace. The construction and staffing of new NPPs in response to the expansion of new and future new 53  towns would consume more police resources in a way that was unsustainable (Personal Interview with Historian). The provision of police resources was centred upon pre-existing residential areas, and the implementation of a new concept plan in 1991 had introduced new topics into urban planning, such as the creation of regional new towns, the expansion of Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) lines, and the setting up of new industrial clusters specialising in aerospace engineering and petrochemicals (Olds and Yeung 2004; Urban Redevelopment Authority 2008). Under the NPP system, NPPs were placed under the command of Regional Land Divisions whose headquarters had not changed since the 1970s. The relatively centralised location of regional headquarters increased commuting times for officers travelling to NPPs located at the periphery. Hence the policing architecture itself had to undergo urban restructuring. The creation of the Neighbourhood Police Centre (NPC) de-emphasised the role of NPPs, seeking to re-direct future public contact to amalgamated police centres that were physically much larger and staffed with more officers. The introduction of NPCs represented a thorough restructuring of the command and control, training, rewards and incentives, frontline operation and administration and finance structures of the organisation (Personal Interview with Historian). Accordingly, the construction of NPCs took place alongside the construction of a new complex for the Criminal Investigation Department, the Police Headquarters, the Airport Police Division building, and a new training academy. The installation of new buildings allowed for a comprehensive modernisation of the force’s infrastructure (Singapore Police Force 1997; Akbur 2002). An intensification of land use was visible too, in the co-location of different users within the same building (Urban Redevelopment Authority 2008). For instance, NPCs occasionally share the premises with Community Centres (CCs), and the new training academy is shared by the Police, Singapore Prisons Service and other Home Team departments37. As urban restructuring took place, the meanings attached to community policing evolved. The re-distribution of NPCs in space sought a more optimal utilisation of current and future police resources in a way that still localised NPCs within residential neighbourhoods. A commitment 37  Since 1997, the ‘Home Team’ groups together the different departments under the Ministry of Home Affairs. The creation of the Home Team concept aims to harness greater synergy amongst the various departments.  54  towards fostering social cohesion through greater public contact was therefore clearly still in place (Personal Interview with Historian), although the priority would now be on achieving an optimality of resource utilisation from an accumulated knowledge of the local community (see Rose 1999; Foucault 2001; 2007). Over 15 years’ of ground work by the police carrying out door-to-door house visits, walking the beat around neighbourhoods, and interacting with residents on a regular basis in the police post or at crime prevention functions has enabled them to gather extensive information on everyday ecologies of the neighbourhood, as well as establish strong contacts within the community. This processed intelligence provides the basis from which optimisation strategies are called forth. Additionally, the co-location of certain NPCs with CCs also provides a new avenue for community policing (Personal Interview with Historian). Within close proximity of each other, NPCs and CCs can jointly organise more crime prevention outreaches and conduct educational visits to NPCs. The aligning of police and recreational amenities strengthens a sense of neighbourhood identity whilst making it more convenient for users. Interpersonal interactions between Neighbourhood Police Centre Officers (NPCOs) and CC staff and users also increase communication channels with the public, which can be important for securing their trust in the organisation (Putnam 2000). Nevertheless, the establishment of NPCs did not take place in a vacuum; instead it took place besides the gradual phasing out of NPPs which carried with them a complex historical legacy. As widely regarded success stories, NPPs were the pride of many residents, who valued the services provided by the latter. From routine crime prevention talks, to the provision of miscellaneous services like the updating of residential addresses on the back of one’s Identity Card, and the rendering of help by settling minor disputes between neighbours, fixing a broken electronic appliance or assisting to search for lost pets, NPPOs had cultivated friendly relationships with the neighbourhood38. The phasing out of NPPs, which included the winding down of services and the closing down of some posts would inevitably encounter resistance  38  Information gleaned from previous fieldwork for my undergraduate dissertation. I am emphasising the positive aspects of NPP-styled community policing in order to draw a contrast between the two models of community policing, underscoring how friendly relationships are cultivated through much work done by NPPOs. Naturally, the complex of relationships brokered by the NPP model is much more uneven in practice.  55  from the ground (Ministry of Home Affairs, 10 March 2001). The outcomes of a shift to the NPC system of policing would be more complex on the ground. Discourse 2: Scaling Up of Resources to Achieve Economies of Scale NPPs were physically small and staffed with about 30 men on rotating shifts. The limited manpower available at any one time necessarily restricted the amount and type of duties officers could perform. At its peak, a total of 91 NPPs had mushroomed across Singapore, and this resulted in a duplication of job functions by different NPPs. A wastage of resources ensued when officers were called to operate services in ways that could be better provided for through a scaling up of institutions to achieve economies of scale (Singh 2000). The labour-intensive work of community engagement also absorbed much of the limited manpower of each NPP, freeing up little time for officers to undergo in-service training to upkeep their professional skills (Personal Interview with Historian). Alongside a chain of command which dictated that higher order policing services would not be managed by NPPs, NPPOs were constrained in their ability to engage the public on issues which required a greater degree of specialist knowledge. The practice of community policing thus risked emphasising sociable aspects of community life at the expense of police craft (Singh 2000)39. The NPP had arguably succeeded in implanting the proverbial community spirit through cultivation of a small territoriality that facilitated exchanges amongst residents (Quah and Quah 1987; Quah 1994; Ganapathy 2000). Frequent contacts with the bobby-on-the-beat (Reiner 2000) and other aspects of the banalisation of crime prevention helped materialise a sense of togetherness and a place-based belonging which evoked memories of the kampung spirit. Whether as a possible reference to the romanticised rural idyll of pre-urbanised small villages where community was present and where relationships between members were dense and multifaceted, or the resilience of an informal sector within urban villages that assisted villagers with social reproduction, or the informal social control mechanisms within tightly-knit 39  The presence of such sentiments is nonetheless reflective of a failure by top management to fully appreciate the progressive ethos present in more radical models of community policing (for e.g. Waddington 1999).  56  settlements that removed the need for governmental oversight under colonial rule, the kampung spirit has assumed a special place within the popular imagination. Rapid urbanisation from the 1950s had converted much rural land into built-up areas to serve the needs of economic development. The shortage of land in Singapore had resulted in a judicious management of land from early on, diagramming measurable plots and parcelling them for various uses (Urban Redevelopment Authority 2008). As physical space was subjected to finer Cartesian abstraction and calculation, high modernist principles of planning expedited transformations of the urban landscape. The status of modernity however remained ambiguous, as uprooted slum and squatter tenants were re-housed in modernist high-rises and subsequently lost contact with friends and relatives who used to live in close proximity to them (Kong and Yeoh 2003; R. Goh 2005). Through the establishment of communal platforms for interactions within public housing estates, the state sought to promote greater sociability amongst new neighbours (Mauzy and Milne 2002). References to the kampung spirit sought to encourage new homeowner-citizens to make friends in the neighbourhood, whilst providing tacit acknowledgement of the displacements wrought upon the native population by the pursuit of economic development40 (Chua 1995b). For younger Singaporeans who have not had a taste of living in an actual kampung, the invocation of the kampung spirit may well signal his/her desire for a place of refuge to weather the storms of economic competition (see Bauman 2001). Either way, the kampung spirit is clearly a romanticised ideal with an essence that cannot be distilled through history (Creed 2006). Its utility lies in its discursive power in performing public-spiritedness (see Chapter 4). It may be appropriate to speculate that this discourse was an important attractor for the first generation of police officers who implemented community policing. The romantic idea of a small, closely-knit community with its distinct territoriality (see Herbert 1997) might have led to the concept of the mini-police post and the conduct of foot patrols to increase social interactions between residents and the police. Community policing through NWGs, neighbourhood crime prevention talks, the NPP landmark, and having familiar officers on foot patrols was thus performed with the ultimate objective of  40  The term ‘kampung’ can however have negative moral and racial connotations attached to it, as when it is used in the slur ‘Go back to your kampung!’  57  fostering social cohesion through a place-based materialisation of the kampung spirit, and it succeeded in making inroads into this, albeit in complex and highly uneven ways. Alas in what amounts to a self-fulfilling prophecy, the ‘small is beautiful’ concept began to be regarded as archaic, trapped by its very success of fleshing out the kampung spirit. Modernisation in the form of the NPC would generate greater cost savings and more efficient utilisation of manpower (Singh 2000). The narrow confines of the NPPs were also no match for the expanding egos of police officers, called upon to serve the nation in an extraordinary career. Officers increasingly found their social mobility constrained by the boundary of the NPP and the banal practice of neighbourhood policing (Personal Interview with Historian). In light of wider demographic changes that increased the mobility of many social reproducers, the police were relied less upon for information updates, casual conversations, physical assistance, and friendly points of contact within the neighbourhood. From improved public transportation networks, mainstreaming of mobile communication technologies, flexibilisation of work practices, the creation of more common spaces within public places, to governmental subsidies disbursed to working adults staying within close proximity to their parents and in-laws (Salaff 2004), a range of social changes removed the need for community-building through the efforts of localised NPPOs. Under these circumstances, police posts were viewed as increasingly out of place in a modernising environment (see Cresswell 1996). Scaling up however did not provide an institutional fix. Some members of the public were reluctant to make do with reduced police visibility in the heartlands as less resources could be devoted towards foot and bicycle patrols (Personal Interview with Historian). The services offered by NPPs were also wound down. Scaling up thus risked re-widening the sutured gap between the police and the community as the bureaucratic distance between the civil servant and the citizen he/she served was increased to secure increasing returns to scale. Under these circumstances, remedial measures had to be in place (Personal Interview with Historian): these included having former NPPOs attend grassroots events or serve in the newly-established post  58  of Community Liaison and Preparedness Officer41 (CLPOs) (Singapore Police Force 2004), continuing to host crime prevention talks and road shows, and encouraging NPCOs to engage the community in the fewer and more dispersed foot patrols that they were now allowed to perform. Discourse 3: Remaking Boundaries of Real Police Work The endeavour to implement community policing faced many challenges stemming from an interpretation of what police work should be about. As a new ethos of policing that encouraged community engagement over professional law enforcement (Skolnick and Bayley 1988; Fielding 1995; Singapore Police Force 1995; Waddington 1999), community policing unsettled many categories of social order within the SPF. Crime prevention through community outreach, policing for the long-term, policing as more than reactive crime-solving, and policing as more than the application of brute force to secure compliance challenged the norms of police work. These changes wrought by community policing were further influenced by wider societal transformations in the nature and meaning of work. The move towards value-added manufacturing and a tertiary sector articulated changes to the nature of work (Coe and Kelly 2000). ‘Backstage’ assembly-line production was gradually overshadowed by the provision of services at front desks. Manual labour was no longer the preferred choice of work for the physically fit, as white-collared ‘brain’ work assumed greater prestige within the emergent knowledge-based economy. The shift in economic production modes also necessitated changes to the education system that increased the competitiveness of the system through an early separation of students into different education streams and the adoption of greater rigor in assessments for mathematical and scientific subjects (Gopinathan 2007). As the state education system produced more highly-skilled graduates, job expectations of individuals changed, alongside the expectations of ordinary citizens in their routine encounters with the police (Singh 2000; Akbur 2002).  41  The post of CLPO was only established in 2004 as a stop-gap measure in response to the lack of dedicated officers willing and able to perform the traditional tasks of community policing.  59  The skilled worker would also no longer be enticed by a job description which plunges the worker into the throes of danger. An increased adoption of managerial techniques at the workplace changed the meanings associated with formal work. The employee would now seek out opportunities for self-improvement, job satisfaction becomes a criterion for personal welfare, and career progression provides a snapshot of the expected job rotations and lifetime earnings of an individual. Community policing under the NPP system had fallen in line with several of these changes: the focus on community engagement shifted the job scope of frontline officers towards that of the provision of pastoral care (Foucault 1991), whilst the technicalities of crime prevention increased administrative duties and proffered chances for social interaction and personal networking. Restructuring of the organisation in the late 1980s in the wake of the zero manpower growth policy had helped create a leaner workforce through the adoption of managerial strategies (Akbur 2002; Quah 2010). While this had proven useful for the organisation in the early 1990s, there was still a perceived need to strengthen the job offerings for police officers to ensure the SPF could remain competitive within a tight labour market. Recruiting talented workers was a priority in the face of an increasingly literate and demanding consumer-citizenry (Singapore Police Force 1995; 1997; Singh 2000). The NPC system would increase the autonomy of NPCOs through the integration of the different tasks of investigations, crime scene management, first responder, victim counselling, and media management into the job scope of the NPCO, allowing individuals to be able to commit to a case and to take charge of a case over longer portions of its progress through the criminal justice system (Personal Interview with Historian). The move towards empowering the worker was accompanied by a move towards adopting problem-solving approaches in community policing (Personal Interview with Historian). Problem-solving approaches encouraged the frontline officer to think out of the box when responding to calls for assistance. As opposed to following through the motions of law enforcement, the officer was required to analyse if there could be larger problems that have caused the commission of the offence. Thinking through how an offence could be committed would alert the officer towards the  60  presence of further criminogenic factors. The result would be a more thorough attempt at crime prevention through partnerships with the community (Goldstein 1990). Separately, the creation of NPCs formulated new ranks to be staffed by middle-management. As larger policing units than NPPs, NPCs commanded a staff of about 80 people, and possessed jurisdiction over a larger area. This enlarged responsibility helped to improve job satisfaction through the provision of new challenges, whilst providing more career pathways for officers to pursue (Singh 2000). Other managerial techniques that accompanied the change to an NPC system of policing included an increased statisticisation of criminal data which allowed for interpretation work by intelligence analysts; the adoption of performance targets to justify and regulate financial spending; the care for psychological well-being of the organisation; a renewed priority on in-service training to refresh the skills of officers; and the crafting of a Police Service Pledge that assured the public of the quality of service standards of frontline officers (Akbur 2002; Quah 2010). In this new managerial working environment, police work could no longer be seen as that performed by a neighbourhood preacher, a door-to-door salesman, a household appliance repairman, a lift technician, or a friendly neighbourhood buddy. The job scope of a police officer must have its professional boundaries well-policed. No longer would the neighbourhood policeman be recognised as the ‘rubbish collector’42 whose job was to mop up the litany of miscellaneous complaints by homeowner-citizens that had fallen upon the deaf ears of other state organisations (see Herbert 2006). The separation of core from non-core policing duties was spelt out in Force Doctrines, with the police responsible for a list of core duties, while noncore duties were excluded from its ambit (Personal Interview with Historian). Some were parcelled out to other state and non-state organisations, some became shared responsibilities of various state agencies, while others were left in a state of limbo awaiting clarification. The  42  The association of police work with that of a rubbish collector stems from the relationship wedge (Goffman 1963) that has been put in place between the NPPO and his/her residential community. By opening oneself up to the member of public, the NPPO was duly obliged to hear out all sorts of complaints from the citizen-taxpayer, in return for offering the latter salient crime prevention tips.  61  public was repeatedly reminded of the distinction between the two: confusing duties belonging to different lists may not constitute a criminal offence, but in diverting police resources from responding to emergencies, it was a serious matter that had to be dealt with sternly43. Despite the legalistic prescription of real police work, the boundaries of work are always being negotiated and can never be fixed in place permanently. Officers who have performed NPP duties took time to adjust to the new nature and meaning of police work alongside the change in police work routines44. Experienced officers who had witnessed the benefits of keen community engagement were initially sceptical of the ‘retreat’ from NPPs into NPCs45. The greater emphasis placed on managerial aspects of work proved as alienating for those committed NPPOs as it was for hard-boiled cops trapped in the crime fighter persona46 (for other perspectives, see Miller 1999; Reiner 2000; Herbert 2006). Work boundaries are constituted through wider social differences that penetrate the organisation in complex ways, rendering the nature and meaning of police work vulnerable to all sorts of non-police social policing. Discourse 4: Removing Barriers to Information Flow As the rise of the network society gained significant traction, Singapore began wiring up for broadband information and communication technologies in the mid-1990s (Coe and Yeung 1999). Restructuring of the physical landscape was a first step towards providing mainstream access to fast broadband technologies that would increase the speed of Internet browsing, file transfer and online communications. NPPs were increasingly viewed as a relic of the 1980s in their lack of broadband connectivity, and their reliance upon the pre-computerised 43  Information gleaned from previous fieldwork for my undergraduate dissertation. The topic of the evolving work routines of frontline police officers has been explored in-depth in my previous dissertation. While the NPP system operated under three daily shifts, the NPC system operated under two 12hourly shifts. Working the new NPC system of compressed, rotating shift work has had numerous ramifications on the physiological, psychological and social health of frontline officers. Officers not only work longer hours, but are in fact subjected to 32-hourly cycles that are out of sync with circadian (i.e. about a day) rhythms. The increased frequency of training, special operations and event security duties increase the workload for NPCOs, overworking many of them in the process. 45 Information gleaned from previous fieldwork for my undergraduate dissertation. 46 Information gleaned from previous fieldwork for my undergraduate dissertation. 44  62  technologies of the pen, clip board, typewriter, physical copy of regulatory forms, station diary, paper docket, manual projector, flip chart, white board and notice board to carry out day-today policing functions47. Far from speeding up informational flow from the ground upwards, NPPs were gradually seen to be creating an additional institutional layer in the processing of organisational information (see Skolnick and Bayley 1988). Despite providing more contact points with the public, NPPs had also added another layer of bureaucracy to effective policing duties. Inputs into the bureaucratic machine via NPPs took a long time to be translated into feasible intelligence that could be supplied to decision-makers. This resulted from the fact that while NPPs may have been physically decentralised, they were not sufficiently organisationally decentralised. There was a strong centralisation of authority within the force that meant NPPs were to report to their respective Regional Land Divisions, who in turn sought advice from Headquarters where applicable. The long chain of command was deemed to have restricted the autonomy provided to NPPOs. Hence there was a need to restructure NPPs to make them more nimble in responding to changes on the ground (Singh 2000). The transition to the NPC system of policing was in line with the move towards becoming a learning organisation (Senge et al. 1994; Singapore Police Force 2004; Personal Interview with Historian). Within a learning organisation, barriers to information flow must be removed to ensure more effective communications. Bureaucratic red tape had to be cut while new feedback channels would be opened throughout the organisation. Learning to keep ahead of the game would become prioritised, and information and communications technologies were more widely adopted to aid this process. The newly-created NPCs would serve as a one-stop total policing solutions centre (Singh 2000), taking over NPPs as an ‘obligatory passage point’ for the public seeking to lodge police reports. While NPPs could not provide higher-order services in the past and much time would be spent awaiting the outcome of deliberations by higher authorities, the customer would now be assured of the quality of service provision at NPCs. There would be lesser need for him/her to be referred to someone else for better advice, crime victims would be provided quicker and timely updates of their cases alongside 47  Information gleaned from previous fieldwork for my undergraduate dissertation.  63  professional counselling upon request, and NPCs provided a larger, more hospitable environment for waiting customers (Singapore Police Force 1997; Quah 2010). In re-framing the relationship between the police and the community from that of moral guardian-homeowner to one of service provider-customer, the police were moving in line with the wider trend towards managerial techniques of service provision. Service here no longer merely stands for the act of providing immaterial labour, but it has become the target of managerial interventions to secure the space for further consumption (Harvey 1989). The cultivation of the consumercitizen required the police to cast themselves as public servants providing the essential services of safety and security to the general population (Singapore Police Force 1997; 2002). The securing of domestic consumption spaces involved at least a twofold process that is intensely bound up with the performance of community (see Joseph 2002): creating an environment that would be conducive for consumption (Salaff 1988; 2004; Rodan 1989; 2006); and nurturing the rights and responsibilities of the consumer-citizen (Chua 1995). The newly-enshrined NPC would work towards meeting the rights of the consumer-citizen to feel safe and secure. The public was to be actively serviced through the maintenance of a low crime rate, the dissemination of crime prevention technologies, and expeditious investigations into cases that lead to the successful apprehension of criminals. Quick answering of and response to public calls for emergency assistance became an utmost priority (while non-emergency cases allowed for a longer lapse time), included within the Police Service Pledge and constituted as a key performance indicator of the police (Quah 2010). Each of these techniques could be accomplished through the NPC, which was inscribed as a mini-centre of calculation of the police. Collation and interpretation of crime statistics, research into crime prevention strategies, conduct of basic investigations and dispatch of responding units were tasks undertaken by the NPC with the decentralisation of planning functions. As NPCs attracted more consumer traffic, NPPs became less frequently patronised, skilled police officers were moved over to staff the ranks of newly-formed NPCs, and NPPs were increasingly bypassed as sites for the practice of community policing48. 48  Information gleaned from previous fieldwork for my undergraduate dissertation.  64  The translation of community policing was nonetheless filled with ambivalence and ambiguity. As quick response to emergency calls was put back on the radar, the utilisation of Fast Response Cars (FRCs) became an imperative for NPCOs on duty. The risk of not being able to reach a scene of emergency on time was too great for officers to bear, and accordingly, neighbourhood patrols are now fronted by the motorcar49. Furthermore, the larger area under each NPC’s jurisdiction made it more feasible to conduct motor as opposed to foot patrols. The double emphasis on service response and service provision at NPCs meant community engagement efforts would inevitably take a back seat. The majority of frontline officers would be governed by performance indicators that were apathetic towards the touchy-feely notion of community engagement (see Miller 1999; Reiner 2000; Herbert 2006). The days where most NPPOs performed their rounds on foot to better reach out to inhabitants of the neighbourhood soon became a thing of the past. Officers swapping the feel of the ground for the driver’s seat in the FRC risked sealing off themselves within the domain of the vehicle (though for another view, see Sheller and Urry 2000 or Beckmann 2001), alongside having their patrols navigated by the contours of the road network. A speeding up of informational flow centred around the FRC also missed out on having the flexibility to plan one’s daily engagement routines in the neighbourhood (Miller 1999), the ability to identify the various neighbourhood ‘characters’50 with a mastery of territory (Herbert 1997), the capacity to forge meaningful friendships with more members of the public, and the opportunity to establish more points of connection with individual residents in a way that goes beyond an instrumentalisation of the service providercustomer relation (Miller 1999). Speeding up narrowed the range of everyday rhythms permitted to frontline officers, which had an adverse effect on the ability of officers to appreciate an ecology of place (Thrift 1999). Walking the beat by contrast facilitated a distinctly grounded education of attention (Ingold 2004) to the rich textures of everyday life, which in turn might allow NPPOs to adopt a more nuanced approach to community policing.  49  Information gleaned from previous fieldwork for my undergraduate dissertation. It is common for police officers to refer to such characters as criminals, delinquents, drunkards, troublemakers, kaypohs (busybodies), informants, housewives, Ah Sohs (old aunties), Ah Peks (old men), and school children. 50  65  In order for the transition to NPCs to be successful, members of the public had to submit to the ‘obligatory passage point’ of NPCs in their contact with the police. Decisions against visiting NPCOs as a result of greater inconveniences and longer commuting times, the emotional distancing from a mid-sized bureaucracy, or just plain confusion over the role of NPCs vis-à-vis NPPs would cause them to leave the policing network. This would then hinder community policing’s attempt at establishing working partnerships with the public to fight crime. The establishment of CLP teams within NPCs helped alleviate the situation by establishing professionalised channels of community policing in the new system (Personal Interview with Historian). Nonetheless this only targeted certain portions of the community who were represented in Grassroots Organisations (GROs), business associations, school disciplinary committees, and the National Crime Prevention Council. Professionalism adhered to certain standards that by definition excluded the participation of others. Loading the responsibility for community policing squarely onto the shoulders of specialised CLPOs also risked overworking the latter51 whilst absolving other officers of a common responsibility (see Miller 1999; Herbert 2006). Ironically thus, the hastening of the pace of community policing bypassed previous nodes of community engagement, possibly weakening the overall governmental assemblage in the process. Discourse 5: Coordinating Partnerships with External Agencies NPPs’ small institutional size had limited a broad engagement with non-police agencies. This occurred on several fronts. First, as noted earlier, a lack of manpower hindered the ability to engage other organisations without abandoning one’s labour-intensive job scope (Singh 2000). The lack of authority and training of NPPOs similarly affected their capacity to engage external professionals. Secondly, the public response to NWGs and Crime Prevention Committees may have been heartening, but these groupings were subjected to little regulatory oversight. This  51  Previous fieldwork for my undergraduate dissertation had revealed that CLPOs work extremely long hours, as they are required to attend RC and Citizen Consultative Committees’ meetings that are typically carried out on weekday evenings after the completion of the normal work day. The porosity of formal work boundaries within community policing (Miller 1999) means CLPOs face a stiff challenge in maintaining healthy non-work lives.  66  resulted in frequent duplication of resources (Singapore Police Force 1997), when for instance, separate training sessions had to be held for different NWGs. A greater concern was the nominalisation of NWGs: when residents enthusiastically signed up for neighbourhood watch only to lose interest in it after a few weeks. Not only would participation be adversely affected, but there was a risk of diluting the crime prevention message (Singh 2000). The proliferation of NWGs also hindered any plans for integrative action across different groups. Thirdly, the territorialities of NPPs were incongruent with those found in the state’s concept plan; under the latter, the smallest grid for regional planning was the Developmental Guide Plan area, a spatial entity whose boundaries did not correspond with the electoral ward boundaries of NPPs (Quah 2010). This mis-match of scale limited cross-dialogue between different state agencies. Finally, the police felt that under the labour-intensive NPP system, they were taking on an unfair proportion of the workload for crime prevention (Quah 1994; Singh 2000; Personal Interview with Historian), which was unsustainable amidst a growing population of middle class homeowner-citizens. In the expected move away from NPPs, the public had to shoulder a greater responsibility for crime prevention. Moralising homeowner-citizens to take care of their own belongings may have been easily achieved, but making them responsible to take charge of localised crime prevention strategies was going to be a new challenge, impacting upon the prevailing gendered division of labour (Salaff 2004) in interesting ways52. In the move towards service provision and managerial techniques of governance, resources were available to help persuade other state, para-state and non-state bodies to share in the responsibility for crime prevention. Within management speak, crime in its various guises could be targeted with greater precision only if a stakeholder approach was adopted, and the roles and duties of crime prevention were clearly identified (Quah 2010). National safety and security provided the natural foil for cooperation amongst different state ministries and state subjects. While safety and security  52  Encouraging social reproducers to commit more resources towards participation in grassroots community policing events may help several individuals acquire greater confidence within and without the public sphere. Nonetheless it also stokes the cultivation of a chauvinistic crime-fighter ego by motivating physically-fit bodies to volunteer their leisure time after work to take charge of neighbourhood affairs (see later chapters).  67  used to provide the basis for political unification in the post-independence era, they became the subject of police care and concern at a finer scale in the NPP era. The 1990s though witnessed an increasing level of responsibility of the community for maintaining a shared safety and security. The invocation of domestic safety and security represents a potential trump card against other bureaucratic concerns of different branches of the regulatory state (Bigo 2002; Walters 2004). Set against this prevailing national narrative, the role for the community was reworked to shoulder some of the workload that had been cast off by the police (Rose 1999; 2000). A neo-communitarian ethos helped justify the decreased visibility of NPCOs within the new practice of community policing. The devolution of state responsibility for policing meant NPCs would function as facilitators of crime prevention. The police could only provide knowledge of their accumulated experience and specialised training in crime prevention; other actors had to take the lead in establishing and cultivating crime prevention networks for concerted action across space. Nonetheless this new role for the police helped preserve their authority in community engagement efforts, as they were sought after for their professional expertise. NWGs were rationalised and re-fashioned as Neighbourhood Watch Zones (NWZs) in the shift to the NPC system (Singh 2000). Placed under the leadership of RCs, NWGs were thus integrated with the organisational structure of the state’s GROs (Singapore Police Force 1997). Members of NWGs would be given customised training and timely updates of crime trends by NPCOs. However, police officers would no longer be leading neighbourhood watch teams as per the NPP system. NPCs’ new territories would also dovetail with the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s Developmental Guide Plan areas to ensure state agents working in different state organs would be working with the same scale (Quah 2010). This facilitates an integration of the planning functions of multiple state organs, helping clarify questions of ‘ownership’ issues within the state bureaucracy, and assisting in the formation of inter-ministerial working groups to tackle tricky cross-agency problems (Quah 2010). The triangulation of crime would be given a greater boost through a more far-reaching governmentalisation of the state (Foucault 2001), where branches of the state work in concert to strengthen state sovereignty, harnessing the 68  work-discipline of state subjects and the collation of crime statistics to help prevent crimes as defined by legal statutes. In so doing, the police would be able to govern from a distance through the dissemination of crime prevention technologies and the added responsibility of state subjects to prevent crime within their respective localities. Freed from the pressures of constantly adding new NPPs to recently established new towns; a mindset that communities needed to be small in order to be organic; the undervalued work of community engagement; the archaic methods of neighbourhood policing; and an overdependence on the police for the provision of localised safety and security, the police could proceed with a restructuring of its internal organisation to keep pace with moves towards a knowledge-based economy and its associated policing requirements. Helping Communities Help Themselves The emphasis of the new community policing paradigm on community self-help required mobilising the community to help themselves in areas that affected their local safety and security. As part of the plan to rationalise police resources and devolve greater responsibility to the local grassroots, the police took the initiative to draft community-focused plans with the support of Community Development Council (CDC) mayors. These plans would later provide the fodder for the implementation of the first batch of Community Safety and Security Programme (CSSP) projects in 1999. The objective of CSSP was to provide a coherent platform for the mobilisation of localised strategies to deal with the safety and security of a local population. As initiatives of the community, CSSP would be driven by various non-police bodies. Different groupings of members of the public would come together to work on particular CSSP projects that concern their own well-being. The police’s role was in providing guidance on and coordination anchors for CSSP projects, and these tasks would be the responsibility of the NPCOs and later, CLPOs. As projects took off, other state and non-state agencies would chip in with efforts to mobilise the community around issues other than crime prevention, such as fire prevention, anti-drug abuse, or anti-harbouring of illegal immigrants. Nevertheless initially, the rationale for and mobilisation of participation in CSSP were disseminated through the well69  established platforms for crime prevention, such as a public education segment on Crime Watch, routine crime prevention road shows, and the word-of-mouth of GRO members (Crime Watch Epi03/1997). While these platforms are useful for generating awareness, mobilisation for action involves more than just the taking of simple precautions to guard against property crimes. Willing participants first need to come up with a project proposal. CSSP projects are conceptualised in a plan of action that is drafted by project leaders. In this, a first step would be the problematisation of issues, or a grounding of common purpose. The identification of problems that commonly affect the neighbourhood is followed by a prioritisation of concerns so that the main issues are underscored. The second step is an interessement of the different parties involved53. This comprises the identification of the parties concerned and the relative assessment of their roles and duties. The third step involves the authoring of an action plan to coordinate implementation efforts. The proposal is submitted to the authorities for vetting, and official resources will be provided if the proposal is approved (Community Safety and Security Programme 2011). Over a period of 10 years, CSSP projects have been carried out with varying purposes, participants, participation levels and participation outcomes. Some examples of CSSPs include: (i) Safe-Drive Zones, involving primary schools, parents of school children, GROs and NPCs, to promote road safety for young children; and (ii) Workers on Watch, involving Town Councils, GROs and NPCs, to conduct surveillance of public housing estates during the day (Community Safety and Security Programme 2011). Despite the heterogeneity of projects, several common processes of the translation of CSSP projects may be gleaned. First, an enrolment of participants takes place through discourses of responsibilisation. This takes the form of one or more of the following statements by the authorities: the police are only human and cannot be everywhere to prevent crime; a little step goes a long way towards safety and security; be part of the solution rather than just complaining. The iconic kampung spirit could also be applied to different ends.  53  In Actor-Network Theory terminology  70  This spirit of community self-help goes way back to the kampung days where neighbours help look out for the safety and security of one another. The residents know their own safety and security concerns best, and they have the immediate resources available to resolve them. Hence, what we did was to set up a new network of mutual support to empower residents to address these issues jointly with the grassroots organisations, partner agencies and the Home Team agencies. (Wong Kan Seng, Minister for Home Affairs, 18 July 2007) Source: Community Safety and Security Programme 2011 Encouraging a spirit of public responsibility would inevitably most of the time fall on deaf ears as it requires a considerable effort to be able to overcome the inertia of leaving things as they are. The effectiveness of responsibilisation varies according to the severity of individual concerns, availability of personal resources, presence and quality of motivation, the amount of guilt present from not doing anything, and individual beliefs and values, amongst other factors. A second process in the translation of CSSP is the establishment of interpersonal relationships. Formation of durable relationships with fellow participants will reduce the likelihood of an individual dropping out of the network. Conversely, the presence of strong friendships may be the reason for a newcomer to join a project in the first instance. In the case of CSSP projects involving pre-existing NWZ or Crime Prevention Committee members, the already-established working relationship amongst individuals may accelerate the first two processes of translation. Under this scenario, an overarching place-based narrative has been well-communicated, and participants know what is expected of them in CSSP. Familiarity with crime prevention technologies and CLPOs would similarly expedite the process. The third process is that of mobilising other citizens in order to allow one to act at a distance. At one level, this could refer to the entire CSSP approach towards safety and security concerns. The many years of NPP policing that helped establish a framework for crime prevention have allowed the current projects to take off by themselves (Personal Interview with Police Historian; see also Chapter 5). At another level, CSSP projects seek to provide enough training for participants on particular safety and security issues, so that when a safety or security breach actually occurs, networked action through space is legitimised, made possible, and rendered a matter of following through the plan of action. The capacities of the network coordinators to act across space are thereby increased. A fourth process involves the reproduction of networks. This is variously achieved 71  through training, the passing on of best practices and success stories, and the conferring of national awards for ‘outstanding’ CSSP projects. Replication of success stories has become a recipe for the propagation of CSSP. Successful projects are frequently broadcast and specific mention is made of the need for other grassroots communities to take up a similar project in their neighbourhood. It is here that one can witness a mainstreaming of ideas of what CSSP projects can be about. A brief sketch of CSSP allows us a glimpse of the state authored vision of civic society (see Koh and Ooi 2000). In the opinion of the ruling elite, as opposed to civil society, civic society is legible only through active state intervention. It is possible to speculate that the different imagineers of CSSP project networks are largely composed of various state agents. While crime prevention CSSPs are authorised and assisted by NPCs, fire prevention CSSPs are likewise coordinated by the Singapore Civil Defence Force, and the Central Narcotics Bureau organises anti-drug abuse projects. Where GROs take the lead in coordination, one must remember they are not autonomous representatives of grassroots, but rather appendices of the People’s Association, a statutory board within the Prime Minister’s Office (Mauzy and Milne 2002; Worthington 2003). State agents are thus actively involved in recruiting, connecting, mobilising and reproducing CSSP networks in a way that casts doubt on traditional understandings of community self-help. The paternalist state (Chua 1995) cannot yet adopt a hands-off approach to the self-governance of communities, but still needs to staff its centres of calculation with ‘community development officers’54 (Rose 1999). Creating New Political Spaces In the nation-building phase, the government had set non-negotiable boundaries of political expression, under the resolve to maintain racial and religious harmony and to foster national unity amidst the pursuit of economic developmentalist policies. The term ‘civic society’ was hence conceptualised to reflect the uniqueness of Singaporean society. A civic society is distinct 54  This is most visible in the creation of ‘community engagement’ divisions within various state bureaucracies, responsible for promoting organisational interests through the community.  72  from the mainstream liberal conception of civil society as an autonomous space for political expression free from the influence of the state and the market. The ruling party conceived of ‘civic society’ as subordinated to the demands of national security and economic development (Chua 1995). Accordingly, the scope of political debates must be confined within strict boundary markers that are decided upon by the government in the nation’s best interests (Koh and Ooi 2000). Civic-consciousness was nonetheless promoted, in accordance with an encouragement of community care and self-help to provide for individuals’ primary social safety nets. Beginning from 1990 however, the new political leadership under Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong embarked on a drive to encourage active citizenry (Quah 2010). As the nation opened up its economic borders to embrace globalisation, Singaporeans would increasingly be exposed to external influences in ways that could not be controlled by the state (Kong 1999). The enticement of Singaporeans to regionalise their business operations or to be willing to take up regional job postings should they be made available was counter-posed with the attraction of a new class of foreign talent to jumpstart the knowledge-based economy and a continued reliance upon cheap foreign labour to plug the shortfall of workers needed for the dirty, difficult and dangerous jobs that Singaporeans shunned (Yeoh and Chang 2001; Yeoh 2006). The growth of the Internet also opened up new anonymous spaces for the exchange of ideas within a virtual metropolis. Perhaps most significantly, decades of economic individualism had nurtured citizens who had grown increasingly assertive of their individual rights in ways that simultaneously threatened to weaken the collective spirit (Chua 1995). Under these circumstances, the government moved towards liberalising controls on political debate within a regulated civic society (Ministry of Home Affairs, 13 April 2009). To convince the public that it was committed towards this, in 2000, the government announced the opening of a Speakers’ Corner, modelled after London’s Hyde Park, in which political speeches could be made without applications for permit. A few years later, more political space was freed up via the sanctioning without the issuance of permits of indoor political speeches, and the adoption of a dual-track approach towards the registration of societies which exempted certain societies from the need for registration with the police. In 2006, political demonstrations were allowed if 73  they took place indoors, while two years later, demonstrations were allowed at the Speakers’ Corner. This gradual loosening of restrictions was accompanied by a careful policing of the boundaries of political expression. In addition to the maintenance of the out-of-bounds markers, the demarcation of political spaces where speeches and demonstrations could take place consequently created safe spaces for political expression where citizens could rest assured they would not run afoul of the law. The safe spaces were however created through the splitting of forms of political expression into two categories depending on perceived threats to national security. Low-risk topics or societies would not be subjected to registration whilst high-risk counterparts would be subjected to stricter scrutiny. This manoeuvre ostensibly freed up space for political expression whilst channelling more resources towards the surveillance of politically sensitive subjects. This split representation of politics into what can and cannot be freely discussed however creates a paradox whereby political expression is allowed to take root through the denial of legitimacy to particular forms of political expression. In effect, it served to reinforce the illegality of political spaces that were not sanctioned by the law. The actions of political activists within these extra-legal spaces could then be construed as subversive in nature, posing a threat to national security that had to be dealt with judiciously by the police. Meanwhile, the repression and suppression of certain forms of political expression would reemerge with a cynical vengeance in cyberspace as new forms of online social media proliferated.  9/11 and the Counter-Terrorism Drive The terrorist attacks of 9/11 generated reverberations throughout many state police forces. In Singapore, the SPF immediately issued a call for calm and normality, even as security measures against terrorism gathered significant traction. Located within a realist national narrative that relied heavily upon the geopolitical muscle of the United States, Singapore quickly became an ardent supporter of its American ally in the ‘Global War on Terror’, vowing to do her utmost to stem out extremist activities in the region. Despite the obvious ramifications on terrorism of 74  lending support to an extra-regional Western power leading the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, Iraq and to a different extent Palestine, the Singaporean government opted for an approach to counter-terrorism that played upon the fears of regional insecurity, rather than reflecting on the excesses of its foreign and security policy (Rahim 2009). As counter-terrorism drives gained renewed prominence within the national imagination, the public would be repeatedly warned of the close proximity of terrorism when terrorist plots variously targeting Changi Airport, Yishun MRT station and Orchard Road were uncovered by investigators. In this return to evoking a fear of the invisible Enemy of the State in order to justify the long-held siege mentality of the ruling party, community policing as it was envisioned under the NPC system would be rudely interrupted. The genealogy of community policing has informed us that securitisation did not begin in the aftermath of 9/11; rather it can be traced through the banal methodologies of crime prevention. It is thus important to dissect the relationship between community policing and counter-terrorism more specifically. The following section will attempt to do so, underscoring the fact that the contemporary security climate is not wholly of the police’s own doing, and that counter-terrorism did generate tensions within the community policing model. Prior to engaging the prevailing counter-terrorism discourses, it is fruitful to re-visit the wider historical context. In the aftermath of the Asian financial crises, the myth of the formidable East Asian Tiger had been thoroughly exposed. While Singapore was less exposed to international scrutiny than its fellow East Asian neighbours, the local fall-out was nonetheless considerable (Yeung 2005; Rodan 2006). Economic investments in manufacturing and construction had taken a hit, resulting in more job losses on the ground. The contraction of regional economies produced multiplier effects that rippled through a partially regionally-embedded national economy. With the investment climates of the four Newly Industrialised Economies proving less than fully stable, international capitalists seized the chance to embark on a round of revanchist capitalist expansion led by deeper financial integration. In Singapore, state-owned investment firms would face greater calls for transparency in financial holdings and governance principles (Rodan 2006). Compulsory social savings contributions by employers would be scaled back as a 75  measure of fiscal austerity. A call for greater productivity translated into more state-subsidised retraining programmes for low-wage earners and the recently retrenched. Broad-scale economic restructuring would be accelerated via the liberalisation of the financial services sector (Yeung 2005) and the creation of economic clusters to reap agglomeration economies (Lee and Tee 2009). A premium would be put on place-based marketing strategies (Yeoh and Chang 2001) that could re-attract consumer spending in the wake of tightening household budgets. As neighbouring economies were similarly engulfed in inter-urban competitions for the anchoring of footloose capital (Harvey 1989), Singapore had to continually restructure its urban landscape to appear as an innovative, creative, exciting and safe place for living, visiting, working and playing (also see Zukin 1995). The mandate for the police accordingly evolved to target the security climate of consumption. The cultivation of a professionalised image of the police would be of utmost importance in its ability to restore investor confidence in the political and legal stability of the city-state. Image thus conceived no longer refers to the high visibility of neighbourhood patrols in residential ‘heartlands’, but refers to the publicity of continuously low and falling crime rates, the glossy corporate yearbooks and videos of the SPF whose executive summaries capture its operational readiness and strategic capabilities, and a high level of demonstrated competency in the resolution of high-profile criminal cases. Securing the spaces for consumption also relied upon the banal technologies of crime prevention for targeting the normalised ‘petty’ crimes of shoplifting and pick-pocketing in retail outlets. The enforcement of the rule of law had already been in place since the 1960s, thus there was to need to turn to an adoption of American-styled broken-windows policing to escalate the scale of criminal threats (Herbert and Brown 2006). Nevertheless, the opening up of the night-time economy to extend the timeframe for consumption presented new challenges to policing (Hobbs et al. 2003), as the promotion of various forms of hedonism and play clashed with a respect for police authority. Efforts at regulation had to transcend the calibration of licensing regulations to grapple with the affective properties of alcohol and night club sociability (Malbon 1999; Latham and McCormack 2004; Jayne et al. 2008). Disorderly behaviours extended beyond the confines of night strips to 76  encroach upon other criminal spaces of drunk-driving, public rioting and noise pollution, contributing to heavier workloads for NPCOs working the night shift55. Beyond coming to grips with changing mass consumption patterns (Chatterton and Hollands 2003), the police had to pay attention to the productive activities of high-powered professionals, managers and executives, who held important posts within the command and control service functions of global cities (Sassen 1991). White-collared financial crime would inevitably accompany a liberalisation of the financial sector, and the police had to build up their expertise in dealing with such criminal offences. The creation of the meetings, incentive travel, conventions and exhibitions economic sector also ushered in hyper-mobile transnational capitalist class (Sklair 2001) whose movements had to be protected. As important impression-bearers of the image of the SPF, much detail had to go into securing the working environments of these esteemed visitors. A secondary effect of the security climate would be the creation of environments conducive for the high consumption lifestyles of these urbane professionals (for a glimpse, see Beaverstock 2002). Within this new climate however, there would be a greater need for police work, and the police were at risk of being overworked. In the aftermath of 9/11, things would become more complicated. The significance of 9/11 was that it provided a new signal crime for state authorities to deal with (Innes 2003). The publicity given to the attacks on the twin towers in particular could provide a convenient and iconic landmark for easy recall by politicians, academics, policy think-tanks, the police, capitalists and ordinary members of the public alike. The flashing signal of terrorism could provide a legitimate security cover for the pursuit of securitisation strategies by respective ruling elites (Glassman 2007). While this would ostensibly benefit the state police in Singapore, counter-terrorism also significantly re-shaped the work priorities of the police and increased the amount of requisite policing work through its construction of a (in)security continuum (Bigo 2002). Counterterrorism was of course no mere rhetoric, and mainstream realist geopolitical discourse would be able to rationalise security expenditures to combat the threat of terrorism. Accordingly, the police in Singapore would be given the lead role in securing the domestic Homeland (Walters 55  Information gleaned from previous fieldwork for my undergraduate dissertation.  77  2004), given the criminal nature of terrorism, their investigative expertise, and their established grassroots connections from the days of working the ground under the NPP system of policing. The heightened profile of terrorism allows the police to more easily enrol other state subjects into its surveillance networks, but at the same time, the police must take the lead in coordination efforts due to the gravity of national security56. Given that the police do have other pressing concerns at hand, counter-terrorism can only be accorded primary visibility in contingency planning, while the need to perform routine duties remains crucial. The following sections will elaborate upon the evolution of community policing in Singapore through tracing the geographical re-imaginings of a re-securitised state space. Bordering of Territory-Networks Terrorism was regarded as a threat to the integrity of classical geopolitical formations in its ability to undermine the legitimacy of the state via guerrilla warfare tactics. In discrediting the state’s realist claim to be able to exercise sovereignty over its territory, terrorists were to be considered enemies of the state. The transnational nature of terrorism financing, planning, training and operations also cruelly exposed the weaknesses of the inter-state system in an era of deepening economic globalisation. In reaction to the baiting/attack of terrorists, the Singaporean state sought to maintain its territorial integrity through a re-securitisation of borders. The border served as a pragmatic locus of defence and a symbol of the sanctity of statehood (Andreas 2003), and had to be reaffirmed through various measures of varying visibility. While enhanced physical screenings at land, air and sea checkpoints and militarised patrol of territorial waters and public spaces constituted visible practices of securitisation, they are merely the tip of the iceberg (Bigo 2007). The processes of (re)bordering57 do not need to be fixed in place, and they often involve the roping in of vigilant mobile bodies to help secure borders (Amoore 2006). Cooperation with foreign states on matters regarding counterterrorism reinstates the authority of the state. Screenings by airline ticketing staff, visa 56  This nevertheless has not reached the state of emergency, when the military would take over command. I use the term (re)bordering to refer to the continuous process through which borders must be instituted. Bordering certainly did not begin after 9/11, and should not be restricted to the delineation of state spatiality. 57  78  application processing officers, employment agents mediating job applications, homeownercitizens performing rental checks, educational institutions accepting new students, police officers performing routine checks at road blocks, and ordinary members of the public who spot suspicious-looking behaviours help enact the state’s borders through processes of social sorting (Lyon 2007). The logic of (re)bordering implies the separation of a safe domestic space from an unsafe external environment (Walters 2004). Amidst an insecure world where flagrant acts of terrorism are being carried out, the creation of safe spaces for dwelling is a pre-requisite for a re-gaining of trust in state institutions, which allows the population to carry on their everyday lives (Amoore 2008). Surveillant technologies like biometric identification, closed-circuit television cameras and metallic scanners are thus championed for their policing capabilities, helping automate the filtering process. Analogous to computer firewalls, (re)bordering technologies need to be constantly updated through security patches, to ensure the state keeps ahead of evolving security threats (Walters 2006). Where security measures grind against the capitalist logic of expediting accumulation, the state reasserts its authority to police its subjects through an extension of the waiting zone (Bigo 2007). State subjects have to submit to the screening of their identification documents by state agents, and this may generate inconveniences amongst consumer-citizens not attuned to waiting. Sometimes the state would invoke another policing strategy to reduce waiting times: that of separating mobile subjects into different lists according to the level of threat posed. Low-risk subjects would be allowed to pass quickly, while the brunt of security checks would befall those deemed ‘high-risk’. ‘Low-risk’ classification may of course require a submission to other forms of labour-saving surveillance technologies administered by the ‘petty sovereign’ (Butler 2003; Amoore 2006; Sparke 2006). In Singapore, the introduction of biometric passports belonged to this mould. In turning towards (re)bordering strategies, the police however risked undoing the community engagement work that they had done under the NPP system. For one, more resources would be concentrated on conducting high-visibility, militarised patrols in central areas rather than having neighbourhood foot patrols within peripheral heartlands. More importantly, (re)bordering unambiguously creates a professional distance between the uniformed security 79  officer and the ordinary member of public. The no-nonsense approach of (re)bordering underscores the risk attached to political acts of terrorism, demanding friendships and other forms of sociality be temporarily put aside for the duration of the security check. This transformation of sociality in addition is likely to extend outwards to encroach upon other forms of police work. Thus a police officer trained in counter-terrorism operations may carry this serious disposition onto the job of routine neighbourhood policing, for instance. Furthermore, (re)bordering creates undue work for border officials58 through its mandate for stricter screenings of mobile subjects. The lengthening of current duties and the creation of new roles increases the amount of work that needs to be performed by state agents. One could speculate that the additional duties required by (re)bordering precipitated the creation of the post of Community Liaison and Preparedness Officer, dedicated to tend to the traditional concerns of community policing. Under these circumstances, what is likely to transpire is not the proliferation of ‘petty sovereigns’ (Butler 2003) who are conferred greater unchecked legal powers to decide on the fate of the illegal immigrant, but that of the overworked, overstressed border official who is ‘tired all the time’59. Ironically, the petty sovereign may precisely be the product of working long and difficult hours, when state agents become easily disgruntled and lethargic from performing under-appreciated repetitive tasks over an extended period of time. Problems associated with overworking were occasionally publicised when frontline border officials committed security lapses. An exposition into the reasons behind these lapses revealed how workers were prone to operational fatigue within the heightened security climate. (The) Question has been raised if the Home Team is over-stretched. The core functions of the Home Team have not changed. But its volume and scope of work have greatly expanded, with increased population, tourist arrivals and more international events which require higher security coverage. We have a smaller Police force per 100,000 population when compared to Hong Kong and New York. But our crime rate per 100,000 58  While the frontline police officer’s main job scope does not consist of policing immigration offences, he/she has been routinely drilled on the importance of (re)bordering work to the sanctity of the Homeland. Performing additional explicitly counter-terrorism work takes the form of training to detect and defuse bomb threats, participating in contingency exercises, and policing of racial and religious boundaries with greater zeal. 59 Information gleaned from previous fieldwork for my undergraduate dissertation. This is a common refrain of uniformed officers as their increased workload has reduced the time for rest, leisure and recreation.  80  population is lower than Hong Kong’s and three and a half times less than New York City’s. The new security landscape post-911 has raised significant demands on the Home Team. Unlike in the past, Singapore is today a target for terrorist groups. A fundamental question which MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs) is exploring is whether we can continue to operate with the current level of resources. Our Home Team officers at the front-line are stretched and strained over a high alert that started since end of 2001. The total number of overtime hours ICA (Immigration and Checkpoints Authority) ground officers at the checkpoints have to put in every month to cope with the volume of work varies between 23,000 to 28,000 OT (overtime) hours. To consider the impact of this, the Ministry has directed that a human factor study be conducted. The study will look at issues of operational fatigue within the Home Team. The study will also look at resource and manning levels and see if there are sub-optimal areas which need urgent attention. (K. Shanmugam, Second Minister for Home Affairs, 21 July 2008) Source: Immigration and Checkpoints Authority 2011  Such internal investigations into ‘human errors’ are symptomatic of the often unintended consequences of (re)bordering, which could adversely impact relations between state agencies and the public. In addition, the overworking of law enforcement agents also produces a palpable aversion to accepting new tasks, as officers regard the receipt of new work as additional sources of burden which will adversely impact upon their non-work lives. Taken together with the fear of making mistakes that would be magnified within a highly-regimented organisation, officers learn to avoid exposures to new and unfamiliar circumstances60. This mode of learning inadvertently risks becoming habituated in ways that would impair the experience of learning in general. Through its re-scaling of the security framework from one that impresses upon local communities to one that secures the national border, (re)bordering has recalibrated the scale of community policing. As the national community is once again under the spotlight, a switching of emphasis of the referent of ‘community’ is evident. Community ably functions as a rescaling icon (Paasi 1991) as the nation deftly assumes greater prominence over the neighbourhood. Its fundamental theoretical ambiguity renders it pliable for the operation of rescaling. This was manifest in the transition to an NPC system of policing as well: community was modified from 60  Information gleaned from previous fieldwork for my undergraduate dissertation.  81  being a tool for social cohesion at the local level, to being the intermediary for a responsibilisation of self-help (Rose 1999). In the latest twist, community would be used primarily as a tool for social cohesion along racial and religious lines, alongside a continuation of the self-help programme. Community policing in its various iterations had traditionally coalesced the political objectives of the government with the internal priorities of the SPF. Thus the latest round of politicisation of community necessitated a further tweak in the logic of community policing to better accommodate the national interest. With a more effective governmentalisation of the state in place since the late 1990s, the ruling elite was empowered to operate at a distance more effectively through the state apparatus. Community policing was now tasked to aid the state-led counter-terrorism drive (Personal Interview with Police Historian) by encouraging various forms of vigilant visualities that help sustain the fantasy of the coherent, autonomous subject (Amoore 2007); by conducting contingency exercises to equip the population with emergency preparedness; by encouraging faith-based communities to detect ‘radicalised’ and ‘self-radicalised’61 individuals amongst their midst and subject them to counselling; and by fostering the establishment of inter-faith dialogues to build bridges over religious divides. These jobs would be shared within the bureaucracy and amongst other state subjects, but the police would nonetheless play an important role in this re-articulation of the social compact. Perhaps the dominant role played by the police, and which has been alluded to already, is in the re-imagining of state spatiality in the form of networked space. In line with an investigative rationality, the counter-terrorism effort is undergirded by a tracing of networked terrorist cells across national boundaries to suss out the organisational structures of terrorists; the supply chain of chemical, biological, radiological materials that can be used for the construction of explosives; the funding mechanisms for terrorist acts; the pedagogical process of the ‘radicalisation’ of terrorists; and the proximate social circles of terrorists. Of course, local investigative capabilities will be limited by the lack of territorial powers over foreign jurisdictions, but this intensifies the tracing of the terrorist chain within the domestic space. If 61  ‘Self-radicalisation’ allegedly refers to the process by which individuals learn of extremist ideologies through individual research, largely facilitated by the provision of self-help information on the Internet.  82  ‘(t)erritory is not the timeless and solid geographical foundation of state power it sometimes seems, but a porous, provisional, labour-intensive and ultimately perishable and non-material product of networked socio-technical practices’ (Painter 2010:1116; emphasis my own), the spatialisation of counter-terrorism efforts helps visualise territory as territory-networks, in response to the signal criminal network of terrorism (cf. Innes 2003). The police have led the effort to identify possible potential targets of terrorism for protection, such as urban nodes hosting a vast amount of commuter traffic, politically symbolic landmarks, and critical infrastructures that undergird large segments of the national economy. Owners of these key installations would be mandated by law to provide adequate security for their property (Ministry of Home Affairs, 22 January 2007). Attention is also paid to the transportation, storage and sale of materials that can be used as explosive precursors. Early detection of the manufacturing of explosives is critical towards thwarting the plans of terrorists, and proper records of ‘high-risk’ materials are likewise mandated by law (Ministry of Home Affairs, 22 January 2007). The police have also been alert to the possibility of dual-use materials being utilised for manufacturing explosives and have been put in place measures to plug these security loopholes (Ministry of Home Affairs, 22 January 2007). Separately, a monitoring of extremist websites, foreign travel destinations of individuals and personal online communications is warranted, to identify potential terrorist suspects who have been ‘selfradicalised’ over the Internet (Ministry of Home Affairs, 22 January 2007). In all of the above policing work, state space is viewed through an investigative rationality that seeks out the expanding networks of threats within the territory. Nodes of networked threats are accordingly targeted for pre-emptive interventions to secure state space through processes of (re)bordering (see also Goede 2008b). Every stage of the terrorist plan of action is closely monitored for evidence of extremist intentions, and national legislation has been refined over the years to prosecute early detections of terrorism62.  62  It is important to note that some of the best pre-emptive legal tools available are nonetheless not those constructed in the aftermath of 9/11; these are instead housed under the Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act and the Internal Security Act, both of which are legacies of British colonial rule.  83  Extension of Policing Powers in Space-Time In the prevailing political configurations, the terrorism threat and ensuing counter-terrorism drive conferred upon the police new powers and responsibilities. These increased policing powers operate through a complex assemblage that involves a ‘plurality of forces circulating through and under the positional sovereignty of the official arbitrating body’ (Connolly 2005:145), and is constituted by various instruments of power such as legislative powers, enhanced supervisory checks, surveillance technologies, and discourses of moral values, civicconsciousness and national safety. The increased policing powers in turn had to operate through the actions of state subjects in order for power to be effective. While this extension of power through diffusion may lead to the thinning out of resources, it need not always be so. The productive uses of power enable self-conduct in ways that can reinforce the grip of power (Foucault 1991; Rose 1999). The use of technological aids, such as the speed bump sitting in for a sleeping policeman, not only reduces the need for labour but is capable of fostering an absent presence throughout the networked capillaries of power (Latour and Woolgar 1986). Power extension across territory-networks therefore involves the enrolling of new actors into the security assemblage cultivated by the state. Methodologies of community policing come in handy here, as the police are positioned as leading authority and bestowed the responsibility of serving as imagineers of counter-terrorism networks in light of their expertise in criminal investigations and their established grassroots connections through neighbourhood policing. Firstly, in a revisiting of traditional crime prevention methodologies, vigilant visualities are nurtured through banal security alerts that warn members of the public to report any suspicious-looking behaviours or objects. These are presently primarily manifest in the broadcasts of counter-terrorism videos at all MRT stations in Singapore. The extraordinariness of terrorism needs no further introduction, as popular imaginations of the ticking bomb scenario (Hannah 2006) provide illustrations of the very imminent and proximate threat of terrorism. Acts of terrorism that wreak havoc and cause great destruction are interpellated as egregious crimes against humanity that must be stopped at all costs. But counter-terrorism is 84  also a matter of personal safety, and once again, this perhaps provides the strongest case to allow the message to resonate deeply with Singaporeans. And lastly, counter-terrorism proscribes opportunities for the (self) ‘radicalisation’ of individuals, similar to situational crime prevention technologies. Enrolment processes thus draw upon the very same processes used in crime prevention, and in reference to vaguely-worded alerts that target ‘suspicious-looking people’, the terrorist and the criminal blend into one under the new (in)security continuum (Bigo 2002). Secondly, counter-terrorism was subtly integrated into the pre-existing framework of CSSPs. In line with the responsibilisation strategies of community policing (Rose 2000), counter-terrorism was to be amongst the initiatives of local communities. In posing an obvious safety and security threat, terrorism fit like a hand into a glove with the governmental objectives of CSSP. It was little surprise then that CSSP projects on crime prevention would frequently draw upon counter-terrorism imagery in justifying their existence (Community Safety and Security Programme 2011). However counter-terrorism also spawned an entirely new, though certainly not novel, template for CSSP. Grouped under the title of emergency preparedness, these projects seek to train civilians in various survival skills to prepare for civil emergencies, such as first-aid safety, evacuation techniques, and having a ready-bag on standby. Youth camps during school holidays to equip the young with resilience became part of projects carried out, whilst Emergency Preparedness Days are regularly held in each constituency. Again, counter-terrorism provides another motivation for the community to mobilise through CSSP, although the outcomes of mobilisation are certainly not restricted to that of counter-terrorism narrowly and conventionally defined. Following a deeper governmentalisation of the state, counter-terrorism was able to insert itself into the security assemblage. As noted earlier, community engagement projects had now shifted focus towards re-articulating the virtues of inter-racial and inter-religious harmony. Alongside the (re)bordering of state space, social cohesion via multiracialism and multireligiosity was reaffirmed as an important ingredient for national unity (Kong and Yeoh 85  2003). This was achieved through two strategies: the first targeted individual religious communities in encouraging them to propagate messages of religious tolerance and to stimulate moderate(d) intra-faith dialogues. In this, the ruling party re-visited its platform of multiracialism, which actively compartmentalised different diverse ethnic and religious groups into the well-regulated privatised spheres of civic society. Counter-terrorism was utilised as a resource to re-articulate the dormant ‘existential’ fears of living in a hostile region, pressing home the message of having to make do with living in an insecure regional environment (Rahim 2009). Multiracialism and multireligiosity tied to meritocracy was trumpeted as having successfully kept communal tensions under control over the decades. With the promised offer of upward social mobility to any individual based on merit and regardless of race, language or religion, the question of understanding how social differences like race and class become embodied by individuals could be sidelined indefinitely by persisting with the abstract homo economicus of liberal economic theory. Secondly, the government launched a new initiative to build stronger relations across inter-faith communities via the championing of state-sponsored platforms for inter-faith dialogues. This second strategy made manifest the ruling elites’ latent vision for the role that religion would play in Singaporean society. Religious leaders of various stripes were compelled to participate in inter-faith dialogues under the pressures of a normalised counter-terrorism drive which privileged the concept of tolerance as a universal ideal (Zizek 2008). If 9/11 and other horrendous acts of terror were reflective of the impending Huntingtonian clash of civilisations, the government’s decision to campaign on a inter-racial and inter-religious harmony platform early on could be vindicated, and it would in fact leverage upon the aggressive behaviours of the West to highlight the levels of civilisation/police (Neocleous 2011) in Singapore. Multiracialism and multireligiosity were also reaffirmed as effective governmental techniques for dealing with undying rumours of the moral backwardness of particular races and religious followers, even when it is the very act of stifling public debates alongside the frequent invocation of racial and religious ‘fault lines’ which has allowed these rumours to spread (Rahim 2009).  86  Under these circumstances, the establishment of Community Engagement Programmes (CEPs) in 2006 in response to the revelations of ‘self-radicalised’ individuals could thus become naturalised. CEPs, as community-level initiatives overseen by five different ministries in-charge of their respective clusters of activities, sought to strengthen community bonds through three thrusts of community engagement: engagement itself, strengthening capabilities, and improving readiness of the population. (T)he CEP framework was itself an enlargement of the ’stakeholder groups’ involved in the development of communal harmony and emergency preparedness. In the past, these were typically the domain of grassroots organizations at the constituency level, working with the People’s Association and the Home Team, in particular the Police and SCDF (Singapore Civil Defence Force). The CEP has broadened this to co-opt new associated groupings or clusters to address and promote the same aims in a nationally coordinated manner. These new groups come under the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Community, Youth and Sports, Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts, and the Ministry of Manpower. However the key to the growth of the CEP over the last 2 years has really been the response from the ground. We recognised early that while Government leadership was important, in order for the CEP to be self-sustaining, it had to be meaningful to the people on the ground who are mobilized to respond and participate in it. (Wong Kan Seng, Minister for Home Affairs, 03 May 2008; emphasis in original text) Source: Community Engagement Programme 2008 Whilst separated into five clusters of activities, CEPs consist of two main segments: strengthening racial and religious harmony and building up counter-terrorism capabilities. The scripting of CEPs in the language of police operations also highlighted the shift in securitisation priorities within the state. Drawing upon the crime prevention networks that had been established in the 1980s, and which were later used to mobilise participation in CSSPs, CEPs are the latest iteration of community policing where the emphasis is on a responsibilisation of stakeholders to police themselves. Next, counter-terrorism as a discourse provided fuel for an increased securitisation of the urban environment. The growth of demand for security could no longer be met through the state police and the Commercial and Industrial Security Operations (CISCO) statutory board. As private demand for security services grew both as a result of the legal mandate for the 87  protection of key installations and in order to secure new spaces of consumption, the private security sector could finally take off. In 2004, the private security market was liberalised with the corporatisation of CISCO and the permitted entry of up to four other private industry players to compete with CISCO for the provision of private security services in Singapore (Ministry of Home Affairs, 15 June 2004). Private security companies would no longer be confined to operate within the legal boundaries of private properties owned by their employer, and thus could be freed up for operations anywhere along the territory-networks of the state. The opening up of a market for private security necessitated close police scrutiny to ensure the extension of policing powers would be well-regulated. An active differentiation of the policing powers of the state police from those of private security firms, now christened Auxiliary Police Forces (APFs), was necessary to define the job scopes for both parties. APFs would not be able to accept any kind of police work, but they could help relieve some of the burdens of policing work from the police themselves. A regulatory regime for APFs was published by the police, and the renewal of APF licences would be dependent upon fulfilment of these criteria (Ministry of Home Affairs, 15 June 2004). In addition, the police would be able to draw upon APFs to provide additional resources during peacetime contingency and crisis situations. Through regulation of APFs, it was hoped the police would themselves be able to govern from a distance, and this was most visible in the outsourcing of ‘non-core’ policing work to APFs. However the rise of the private security industry also reflected the move towards tertiarisation of the economy. The growth of private consumption spaces required a concomitant provision of private security (Davis 1990), taking the form of installation of closed-circuit television and alarm systems, provision of security guards and bouncers (Hobbs et al. 2003), institution of a specialised company division devoted to security operations, and communication of various risk profiles (Ericson and Haggerty 1997). Private security was poised to become part of the architecture of the global command and control service functions of global cities (Boyle and Haggerty 2009), and Singapore could not be seen to be lagging behind its regional competitors on this front. In 2007, a review of the private security industry was undertaken to professionalise the sector (Ministry of Home Affairs, 27 August 2007). A sliding scale of policing 88  duties was drawn up according to the level of skills required for completing each duty, and security firms would be assessed on whether they had met the pre-requisites for the duties they had taken on. As efforts were made to instil greater pride in the jobs of frontline security guards who risked being caricatured as old, slow, overweight and unfit for duty, the employee profile of private security companies was revealed. Alongside the professional managers of unease (Bigo 2002) are a new crop of recently retrenched middle-aged recruits who have likely entered a new job field under extenuating circumstances. A skills training workshop for security guards was thus launched under the National Skills Recognition System to upgrade the productivity of those in the profession and to boost the self-esteem of new recruits. Finally, an increased participation by the private security sector ushered in greater participation by the private sector-at-large. In lieu of the greater demands for securing their own premises, the private sector was compelled to participate in the formation of Safety and Security Watch Groups (SSWGs). Equivalent to the residential community-focused CSSP, SSWGs rope in industry players to form clusters of security groupings to engage in joint surveillance, tactical hardening and beefing up of building security (Safety and Security Watch Group 2011). Companies submit to a three-tiered process of threat assessment, systems auditing and operations streamlining, to ensure emergency preparedness and business continuity in the aftermath of a crisis. Through this, the ‘private sector’ now no longer solely refers to companies offering private security services, but also encompasses firms that are not traditionally in the business of selling security. In its enrolment of the private sector within the state’s community policing networks, a complex assemblage of government has been enacted through the meshing up of traditionally public and private entities (Connolly 2005). These complex state spaces not only facilitate the sharing of commercial data between data providers, private security firms and the state police in pre-emptive security drives (Lyon 2007) that defer political decision-making in favour of consulting another (Amoore and Goede 2008), but also threaten to undermine previously-consolidated understandings of state power by opening up traditional state policing responsibilities to the rule of market forces.  89  The addition of more actors to the security assemblage complicates power dynamics. At times, it confers immense power upon the police, for instance during counter-terrorism contingency exercises. It also fosters the cultivation of bridging social capital between state agencies through acts of working together. However the presence of individually-differentiated performance targets limits the level of synergy being generated. And despite the presence of finely-calibrated regulative devices, APFs may be capable of challenging the authority of the police, as both the SPF and APFs may soon find themselves competing within a tighter labour market. With more outsourcing of duties to APFs and other state agencies, the police’s oversight of criminal space would be reduced, although this is mitigated by the ability to govern at a distance. Lastly, the multiplication of security roles within the public may reinforce the security doxa within individuals who experience an increased routinisation of security measures in their everyday life (Boyle and Haggerty 2009). The level of general crime prevention awareness and the approachability of police officers within the new security climate however remain empirical questions to be investigated. Scalar Amplifications of Policing at Mega-Security Events The threat of terrorism combined with the need for securing spaces of consumption combined to frame the contemporary securitisation target: the mega-event which takes place in cities. As part of a series of prestige events showcasing the vibrancy of a locality, the mega-event becomes a must-have in the latest inter-urban competition (Harvey 1989). The ability to host a marquee event affects the symbolic economy of a locality, which impacts upon placepromoters’ ability to hold down footloose capital through both direct and indirect investment (Zukin 1995). The attraction of mega-events is accorded greater significance when these events simultaneously serve as potential anchor points in an era of more widespread transnationalism, helping to instil civic pride and a sense of belonging within citizens (Ho 2009). Mega-events perform an important role in bringing together a critical mass of urbanites to evoke the traditional bright lights of city-dwelling (Benjamin 1973; Schivelbusch 1988; Schlör 1998). The temporary sense of togetherness amidst a multitude of bodies, the encounter with difference, 90  the marvel at the state of progress, and a delighting of the senses all provide reasons for people to attend these events (though see Yeoh 2004). Recent discourses of urban buzz, creative cities and learning regions highlight the importance of these urban socialities and entertainments in sustaining the job satisfactions and quality of life of urban professionals. Localisation of megaevents thus possesses certain knock-on effects on the migration patterns of highly-qualified workers (Kong 1999; Yeoh and Chang 2001; Yeoh 2006). The security of mega-events hence becomes an utmost priority; security extends beyond basic security to include the security of a distinctive quality of life (Bourdieu 1984). Under this new security climate, the provision of basic security is almost taken-for-granted, as the emphasis is on staging ambient security (Loader 2006) to stimulate high consumption63. An ambient security that plays upon the obsessive-compulsive desire for sussing out the bits and pieces of perceived disorder is grafted onto a representation of choreographed order to assure the viewer that everything is under control (Boyle and Haggerty 2009). This tendency is highlighted as mega-events are increasingly fashioned for televisual consumption through the mass media. At the site of the event, the threat of terrorism assumes a spectral presence within the highlysecuritised sphere of consumption, through the lingering fear of reprisal attacks by those who have been excluded from lapping up the finer comforts of life. Terrorism’s proximate threat, manifest so acutely in the ticking bomb scenario (Hannah 2006), may or may not be real. But it continues to issue a warning signal that the terrorist-at-large retains the ability to undermine basic, often taken-for-granted security, especially at high-profile mega-events. For the professionals of security control, the significance accorded to counter-terrorism in various discourses has permitted them to be judged on their success at pre-emption of and response to terrorist acts. Any observed negligence or worse, exposed failings will be scrutinised without mercy within the current security climate (Singapore Police Force 2004). The adage that ‘prevention is better than cure’ is therefore applied to the security professionals themselves in the governmentality of unease (Bigo 2002). In the new security climate, the promise of ambient 63  The distinction between basic and ambient security reflects the rise of accumulation strategies that expand upon the meanings of security in order to provide solutions for them.  91  security exacerbates failures to provide basic security (Loader 2006). But ambient security is simultaneously something more and less than basic security. Ambient security’s insistence on image management for the viewing pleasure of its ‘live’ audience, for similar pleasures of consumption on the television screen and for capture and playback on the screens of the multiple recording devices in the hands of the crowd focuses the security gaze back onto the (re)presentation of security operations itself. Under the glare of the spotlight, security professionals have to pay attention to the smallest of details which might be picked up by the synopticon diagram (Mathiesen 1997). But there always remains a risk that a focus on representation may detract from the actual provision of security itself, especially the security of those who cannot afford to be present at these spectacles. As proliferations of meanings of security abound, slippages between the signifier, signified and referent objects of ‘security’ are obscured. The logic of security can become most elusive when it is most pervasive. Meanwhile, the coupling of ambient security with the target mega-event of securitisation ushers in a new paradigm for security operations. When threat assessments and their concomitant security operations are increasingly geared towards the topology of the mega-event, the practice of securitisation becomes focused on protecting all reasonably-scaled conceivable sources of insecurity from unfolding at the event. Since the 1990s, Singapore has increasingly targeted the meetings, incentive travel, conventions and exhibitions sector as a worthy economic pursuit to showcase the city’s urban infrastructure, generate greater tourism receipts, and cultivate civic pride amongst residents, whilst sustaining an economic niche within the services industry. These have brought in amongst other things, the International Olympic Committee’s convening session to select the 2012 Summer games host, a joint summit of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank leaders, various Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders’ conferences, the inaugural Formula One night race and subsequent editions, the Asian Youth Olympics and the inaugural Youth Olympic Games. Besides these profiled events, there exist a slew of arts and cultural events and annualised celebration of festivities of increasing scale, such as Chinese New Year Chingay parades, the National Day Parade, and the New Year’s Eve countdown. Within the SPF, officers 92  have been called up to perform security duties at events with increasing frequency in the past decade64 (see also Chapter 5). The task of providing security coverage at an event is no longer a rare obligation, nor is it something similar in scale to securing the events of yesteryear where the provision of ambient security had not yet taken hold. An education of attention of police officers towards the mega-event has thus become the norm, in which topological folding represents the new spatial imaginary: a collapsing of sociality onto the space-time coordinates of the mega-event. The new topological imaginary has necessarily been propagated to a wider public to seek their cooperation in securing public events. This ranges from efforts at creating awareness of threats, to those that promote an appreciation of officers’ securitisation efforts, and encouraging submission to and participation in security measures. While there are certainly limits to the extent of securitisation, such as manpower constraints, the need to avoid overinconveniencing consumers, or even the unintended terrorising of consumers, community policing as performative of frequent communications with the public helps mitigate these shortcomings (see Ericson and Haggerty 1997). The topology of the security event is thus generative of more spaces of (in)security. And as the framing of self-same threat assessments has indicated that the profile of an event is a guide to the level of security threats to be expected65, this self-same logic of threat assessments and the secrecy behind intelligence work are also productive of further spaces of (in)security (Paglen 2010). Recombinant Policing in Response to Fluid Threats Security at mega-events brings together different police departments under the banner of operationalising a specific function: securing the event. Mega-events are thus special because the scale of mobilisation allows more innovative experimentations with different security components, either out of necessity or flowing from greater autonomy (Boyle and Haggerty 2009). However in Singapore the situation is more of a frequent hosting of events of all scales from the regular grassroots functions that install a Member of Parliament as the guest-of64  Information gleaned from previous fieldwork for my undergraduate dissertation. The assumption goes that as a great amount of effort is put into carrying out terrorist acts, premeditated attacks tend to target landmark events to broaden the mediated impact of actions. 65  93  honour to the singular Youth Olympic Games and the annual Formula One night race. The presence of a critical mass of mega-events then normalises the mega-event, and provides firmer security architecture for hosting smaller-scale events. The frequent creation and dissolution of security communities responsible for working together for an event has resulted in a fluid space for the mobilisation of policing work. Community policing acquires a new meaning when public, private and non-governmental stakeholders are regularly called upon to provide security coverage at an event66. This could be in the form of hotel staff cross-checking guest lists with those of police alerts, to chauffeurs of limousines trained in defensive driving and emergency security operations, to logistics personnel liaising with police to provide the required equipment for operations, and event planners coordinating with the police on everything from the security detail of escorts to the celebratory dinners that bring the curtains down on a successful security performance. The personal contribution to securitisation socialises participants with the nuts and bolts of security operations in ways that re-work urban landscapes internationally. This familiarisation with the security assemblage goes beyond what Boyle and Haggerty refer to as a doxa of security, which ‘reinforces the taken-for-granted sense that such measures are required, that they do not unduly infringe upon personal liberties, that certain dangers are pervasive – and more pressing than other risks – and that the existing constellation of security interests is inevitable’ (2009:270). For direct participation in the act of securing an event confers varying degrees of self-identification with the project, increasing support for efforts to make it succeed. Where one’s livelihood is at stake, security work becomes a contract to be won, not a slight inconvenience to be tolerated or a backdrop for greater consumption to occur. The priority becomes putting up a world-class performance of event security, to ensure one will be invited back for future projects. Security is enacted through the recombinant formations of project teams charged with handling various dimensions of event security. The fluidity of project work provides opportunities for individuals to get acquainted with police working procedures in ways that would have been inconceivable in the early 1980s, when the tough law enforcement image of the police held sway (Akbur  66  Information gleaned from previous fieldwork for my undergraduate dissertation.  94  2002). Knowledge of and contacts with the police have become the key ingredients for effective participation in the private security sector. In addition to the securitisation of events, recombinant policing is also present in the formation of CSSP project teams. The technique of fostering community self-governance is primed for its networked flexibility in responding to evolving localised threats. GROs and CLPOs form working partnerships with various organisations and individuals to facilitate different types of policing work, such as crime prevention, anti-drug abuse or counter-terrorism. Recombinant policing techniques are also applied to the conduct of more frequent contingency exercises as part of the counter-terrorism drive (Singapore Police Force 2010). These exercises differ in scale but routinely involve security professionals from different agencies working together to respond to a simulated terrorist attack. Contingency plans are put into practice during the exercise, which helps to identify knowledge gaps, weakest links, black swans (Taleb 2008) and regulatory oversights for future improvements to the plans. Recombinant strategies hence reflect the growing demands of learning within a knowledgebased economy. To push the boundaries of what is known and knowable and to anticipate future security threats, the police have set up epistemic learning communities around particular future-oriented tasks (Singapore Police Force 2008). An epistemic community is to be differentiated from the ordinary task force set up to look into a spate of crimes, and from the normal planning units that comprise fixed team members, in that it is ‘purposefully organised to unleash creative energy around specific exploratory projects...the high level of independence of individual participants, together with their distributed contact networks, yield collaborative practices that spill over organisational boundaries’ (Amin and Roberts 2008:361). Creative learning has become prioritised within the police as a tool to keep ahead of evolving security threats to a late-modern economy that thrives on flexible accumulation. Where risk management used to be a dominant security paradigm (c.f. Ericson and Haggerty 1997), most visibly in the distribution of crime risk surveys to households and companies and the formation  95  of CSSP plans of action, the uncertainty of the threat now permeates imaginative contingency planning (Goede 2008). The exact genealogical formulation of uncertainty remains unclear, but this last section has attempted to sketch out the links between counter-terrorism, the bordering of territorynetworks, the liberalisation of private police forces, the rise of the mega-event, and the formation of security project teams in fulfilling the work of policing a late-modern economy increasingly (con)fronted by consumption practices. Counter-terrorism provides a convenient discourse that undergirds the expansion of an (in)security continuum (Bigo 2002). The increased police work required of the police and the private sector eventually led to a liberalisation of the private security sector. This subsequently resulted in a greater evocation of ambient security (Loader 2006) that allowed a further commodification of security. Thinking up novel securitisation strategies becomes the new norm in a world-economy that relies heavily on the private sector for securing the multiple spaces of consumption. Within these newly rebordered spaces, policing powers no longer reside within the state police’s authority, but are disseminated through fluid spaces of community policing to become a significant part of the arsenal of capitalist strategies.  96  CHAPTER FOUR: CRIME WATCH – COMMUNITY POLICING AND POPULAR CULTURE A crevice within academic theorisations on policing is noticeable. It lies at the intersection of community policing and representations of crime and the police in the media. Despite the plethora of scholarly writings on the topic of community policing, very little information has been generated on how popular cultural representations are constituted by, and help constitute, community policing. If community policing as a discourse needed to be diffused and translated to ordinary members of the public, it had to rely upon the mass media to reach out to a wide audience. The media, as many scholars have noted, plays an important role in the architecture of modernity, giving form and function to how communities are performed (e.g. Anderson 1983; Thompson 1995). And if community policing concerns the cultivation of communities of particular natures by the police, the media becomes a cherished institution for the communication of discourses (Ericson and Haggerty 1997). A primary objective of utilising the media would be to engage the masses in police work. Through the mass media, it is hoped the public would be more amenable to heeding the lawful instructions of the authorities, and in the process, help constitute communities of particular natures (Creed 2006).  Crime Watch The idea of Crime Watch was conceived when two senior police officers from the Criminal Investigation Department learnt of the successes of Crimestoppers in the United States and Canada and Crime Watch in Hong Kong. These police-sponsored televisual productions were broadcasted on free-to-air public television networks in the respective countries with the aim of seeking public assistance in the solving of criminal cases with little or no leads. Buoyed by the popularity of these foreign programmes and needing to secure the help of the public in the prevention and solving of crimes, the leadership of the SPF actively pursued the option of starting a local variant of Crime Watch in Singapore. Crime Watch did not mark the first act of cooperation between the police and the state-owned media, as previous collaborations included Mandarin drama serials covering the police 97  occupation to different extents, such as First Step (1980), depicting training in the police academy; Seletar Robbery (1982), highlighting police efforts at solving a major crime; and CID (1983), showcasing the in-house operations of the specialist detective unit. However it was historic in signifying the first police-led production that would continue through to the presentday. As a docu-drama, Crime Watch’s modus operandi would typically comprise the following: (a) sourcing of crimes for featuring in the next episode; (b) scripting for filming; (c) filming on scene (no sets were used); (d) post-production work involving stitching, editing and soundediting; (e) internal reviewing; (f) re-editing work including narrating and sound-mixing; (g) external screen tests; (h) actual broadcasting on national TV; (i) manning the Crime Watch hotline to receive and act upon tip-offs; and (j) collating data on viewership figures for the episode screened in different languages67. The above elements would together constitute a production cycle, and responsibilities are split for the various tasks. While the police would handle the decision-making on the portrayal of crimes, criminals and the police in each episode, the state-owned media, currently christened Mediacorp Studios, would be in charge of scriptwriting, providing the film crew and conducting post-production work. To complete the roster, external (i.e. non-police) governmental officials would occasionally be involved in preview screenings, external ratings agencies like Forbes Research and AC Nielsen are responsible for providing timely statistics on viewers’ demography, and funding is provided for by the National Crime Prevention Council, a Voluntary Welfare Organisation that draws upon donations by the Singapore Totalisator Board68 to fund its crime prevention campaigns, in which Crime Watch is frequently the headlining act (Sim 2011). Jobs are further sub-divided within each institution, but this dissertation concerns itself with the role of the police within the production cycle. The first section of this chapter deals with the evolving materiality of the texts of Crime Watch, while the second half explores how Crime Watch is embedded in various forms of production and consumption. 67  Crime Watch originally started off with just English and Mandarin broadcasts in 1986. This widened to include Malay (2000) and Tamil (2001) versions over time. Other non-English language broadcasts draw upon the same video footages as those originally used for the English version, but are hosted by different presenters and have their videos dubbed accordingly. 68 The Singapore Totalisator Board is the state body that has a monopoly on providing legalised betting services in Singapore.  98  Opening Moves For Crime Watch69, a resident coordinator for the programme within the SPF is assigned the task of selecting and framing the crimes for portrayal on the small screen. Helmed by a presenter70 from the Police, Crime Watch typically consists of two to three segments of the following: (a) public appeal for information; (b) crime prevention education; and (c) reenactment of solved crimes. The first few iterations of the 20-odd minute71 docu-drama focused exclusively on public appeal and crime prevention. Typically, a re-construction of an unsolved case would be staged by a motley cast of former and currently-serving police officers supplemented by semi-professional actors supplied by Mediacorp, and this would be followed by an emotive appeal for eye-witnesses to contact the police non-emergency line with the assurance that all identities of tipsters would be kept strictly confidential. Crime prevention segments featured basic crime prevention advisories on what were identified as the five main preventable crimes in residential areas: robbery in homes, theft of and from vehicles, snatch theft, outrage of modesty and housebreaking. These segments would be composed of a mixture of a short-length re-enactment of solved or unsolved crimes, advisories given by the on-screen presenter, interviews with members of partner organisations on crime prevention, and presentation slides highlighting crime prevention mnemonics in bullet-point form. In the beginning, a clear emphasis was placed on nudging reluctant informants to provide the police with intelligence on criminal occurrences. This ostensible reluctance stemmed from several factors, two of which are distilled below. Firstly, rapid urbanisation under the aegis of modernist planning principles had meant a largescale resettlement of local residents into high-rise public housing constructed by the Housing and Development Board since the early 1960s. This resetting of the scale of planning overrode  69  Further mentions to ‘Crime Watch’ in this chapter will no longer be italicised. Initially, Crime Watch started off with no on-screen presenters and with only a voiceover. This however soon changed to include as many as 3 on-screen presenters, boasting a mixture of police officers and civilians, with the voiceover for re-enactments retained. By 1994, a revamped version saw only 2 on-screen presenters (1 uniformed officer and 1 civilian) and the voiceover, while by 2003, only 1 presenter, a uniformed officer, was accompanied by the voiceover. 71 The length of an episode is 30 minutes, but the actual docu-drama is only 20-odd minutes long thanks to advertisements. 70  99  previous attachments to place, in favour of the henceforth naturalised scale of the nation-citystate. Where place attachments were reconstructed around the imported and re-worked concept of new towns, themselves to be sub-divided into further categorisations of neighbourhoods, precincts, flats, storeys and units, alienation of residents was more than a distinct possibility that had to be guarded against. The territorialisation of Neighbourhood Police Posts under the project of community policing was thus tasked with building a community where none was thought to have existed previously. In the opinion of the political elites, the construction of the ‘heartlands’ needed to be undergirded by a stronger sense of communal identifications, to soften the hard edges of high modernist living (for examples see Mauzy and Milne 2002; Kong and Yeoh 2003; R. Goh 2005; Jacobs and Cairns 2008). For the police, community building was a crucial first step towards reducing the professional distance that separated them from the population they served (Quah and Quah 1987; Skolnick and Bayley 1988). In order for a localised population to recognise its membership of a community, it had to first be willing to be involved in the affairs of the community by performing the simplest of tasks: that of reporting a crime and providing information on the incidences of crime. While crime rates spotted a decrease entering the 1980s, there was still a concern that the populace was insufficiently involved in policing crime (Quah and Quah 1987; Singapore Police Force 1996). The charge of indifference was levied against the population in the pilot episode of Crime Watch (Epi01/1986). A 20-year old Chinese out on a romantic date was abruptly, brutally and fatally physically assaulted by a group of youths at a public area next to the void deck of a public housing flat. Despite the occurrence of the crime at the coordinates of public and prime-time visuality, no witnesses had yet come forward to provide the police with workable leads on the case. This public passivity necessitated steps taken by the police to re-trace the footsteps of the victim on screen. The producers opted for a realistic reconstruction of the scenes leading up to the commission of crime, detailing with disturbing realism how a romantic landscape was fractured and transformed into a landscape of death in the space of a night. The re-enactment ended with a cut to a real-life interview with the victims’ grieving parents who emotively appeal on behalf of the police for eye-witnesses to come forward. The civic outrage at witnessing this 100  public inaction subsequently translated to several calls to the police hotline following the broadcast of the pilot, which eventually led to the arrests of the culprits. This episode provided not only a glimpse of the potential investigative successes of an extended run of Crime Watch, but also provided a window of understanding to the authorities on the need for civic engagement. Additionally, it supplied the basic framework for the reconstruction of unsolved cases, which would be re-used for the remainder of the first phase of Crime Watch. Besides the need to prevent alienation, the police were eager to reach out to the public to assuage any lingering concerns they might have with standing up to secret societies. As several scholars have noted, the presence of secret societies has had a profound impact on the image of the SPF in the post-independence years (Turnbull 1989; Akbur 2002; Ganapathy and Lian 2002). Betrothed to a colonial legacy of clan-based immigrant societies taking care of their own communities, the postcolonial state had to grapple with the unyielding members of societies who refused to be fully incorporated into the modern rule of law. The police, armed with the governmental stick of legislation, waged intensive battles with non-compliant members of secret societies, most prominently through the passing of a tightened Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act of 1958 that allowed the police to detain suspected members of secret societies indefinitely for questioning. While the 1960s were remembered for the heightened state of insecurity, evidenced by a spate of high-profile kidnappings and robberies involving gangs, the unrelenting march of economic modernisation catapulted by the postcolonial exigencies of nation-building facilitated a progressive fragmentation of secret societies whilst dwindling their sources of support. By the 1970s, the police were confident enough to declare the diminished threat of secret societies (Akbur 2002), having rendered them into a near-liminal mode of existence. Secret societies assumed an ambiguous position within the state’s high modernist project72, largely neutralised of significant risks, but retaining an undying presence within the psyche of the population in ways that require constant repression (Ganapathy and Lian 2002).  72  Ganapathy and Lian (2002) in fact distinguish between well-established Chinese secret societies and newlyformed street corner gangs, claiming that the objective of preventing street corner gangs from gaining a foothold in the criminal underworld is actually to ensure the police are able to preserve and protect the symbiotic relationship that they have historically established with the more institutionalised Chinese secret societies.  101  On occasions when the latent subconscious surfaced in the materiality of extraordinarily violent crimes like those depicted in the Crime Watch pilot, the public had to be assured of their physical protection by the state, in order to coax them into providing useful intelligence to the police. Visualising the Crime-Fighter Persona From 1989 onwards, Crime Watch began to spot a new third segment: ‘Police in Action’. This would feature re-enactments of crimes successfully solved by the police, with the aims of demonstrating police professionalism at work. The production process would be nearly identical to that of the unsolved crimes segment, featuring police officers as part of the cast. However a notable difference was that officers were now mostly called to play themselves onscreen, since the depiction of successfully solved crimes was deemed to be beneficial to the morale of the investigators involved. Asking officers to play themselves was an act of recognition for their valued contributions to the force, and reduced the likelihoods of misrepresentations of officers in action. This move towards securing the image of the police also came in the wake of concerns that the police were being portrayed as insufficiently robust law enforcers on Crime Watch (Personal Interview with Crime Watch Coordinator). Within the new political economic order, public imaging became of crucial significance to corporatised state organs, and the police would be seen as the harbingers of institutionalised image management. Rob Mawby’s work (2002) on the London Metropolitan Police remains one of the few empirical studies on how the police have increasingly sought to professionalise their image through enhanced public relations efforts. The motivations for this exercise were situated at the nexus of a reaction to the negative publicity of the police in the wake of inner-city racial riots, an animated politicisation of the police by the Thatcher government, the globalisation of the communications industry, and leadership strategies within the police. Mawby argues that the policing of images is essential towards the cultivation of institutional legitimacy by the police, defined according to Beetham’s (1991) criteria of legal validity, shared values and expressed consent. In this highly mediated world, ‘there is a need for the police to communicate 102  effectively and to construct and communicate an image appropriate to their role, as one aspect of the legitimation process’. Pre-empting the scepticism of critics, he goes on, ‘(i)t is also crucial for legitimacy that there is a concern not simply with appearance or with the “strategic manipulation of impressions” (Goffman 1959:90), but with substance, aligning image management with transparency and accountability’ (Mawby 2002:72). Alas, much as he has extensively recorded empirical data on how the police have gradually implemented institutional changes in response to the new public service delivery model that focuses on service quality and image work, Mawby’s account is emblematic of the new police management studies73. His emphasis on promoting a legitimacy framework for international police forces causes him to lose the critical distance needed to interpret broader societal trends. Thus he can only provide a list of management strategies for professionalised image management, whilst avoiding any ethical considerations with an encouragement of police forces to mobilise the ‘structures of feeling’ (Williams 1975) embedded within local populations, and playing down the fact that images are ably appropriated by individuals in different ways. And crucially, he never elaborates upon the work of the police through its location in relation to other forms of regulatory work, thereby missing out on a chance to investigate the social embeddedness of police work. This ascribed detachment of police work serves to consolidate the sovereignty of the visual, which becomes complexly bound up with the emergence of state sovereignty (Amoore 2007). Conversely, it may be more productive to situate these presentational strategies as part of the move towards corporatisation of the state. Despite their authority as agents of law enforcement, the police are not exempted from the broader processes of economic restructuring that instil fiscal discipline upon the state through various neoliberal strategies. State institutions are re-shaped in the image of private corporations as they are taught to cast their attention towards organisational management strategies. Image management constitutes a part of this new repertoire of skills for effective communication, where effectiveness is not premised on lofty ideals of legitimacy, transparency, accountability or democracy, but rather on 73  This detour to consider Mawby’s work is nonetheless important, for the author remains influential within policing studies, and this book has undoubtedly helped legitimise the move towards professional image management by police forces. The salience of his work is revealed in my dissertation fieldwork when I was looking up past issues of force magazines, and most poignantly in my personal interview with a police historian.  103  the ability to mobilise relevant stakeholders to conduct their lives in a manner that is conducive to the furtherance of organisational interests. In the opening sequences of each episode in the first phase of Crime Watch, scenes from a call operations centre is interspersed with shots taken from a fast response car patrolling the streets, as male frontline officers are seen communicating expediently with female call operators (Epi01/1986). This professionalised image of the cordial police family is used to frame the seamlessness of computerised communications, highlighting the twinned objectives of image and informational management, even whilst reaffirming the contemporaneous gendered division of labour. The implementation of the non-emergency/ Crime Watch police hotline in anticipation of the premiere of Crime Watch is hence a means of establishing a further point of contact with the public. The flow of information through this hotline is most likely to be unidirectional from the public to the police, but it nonetheless satisfies the conditions required of the programme: of activating the member of public to take responsibility as a witness by producing a cathartic sensation through the act of reporting; and of generating more information on criminal activities. Even when an individual was not a police officer, one could do his/her part in the fight against crime. Organisational learning (Senge et al. 1994) did not stop at receiving tip-offs on the whereabouts of suspects. The popularity of the docu-drama alerted the police to the potential of Crime Watch as a non-costly labour recruitment tool. In its upholding of the integrity of the law and characterisation of officers as bound by a strong moral compass, Crime Watch clearly resonated with popular sentiments and its perpetuation as a public engagement tool was thus secured despite vigorous cost-cutting initiatives being instituted throughout the police organisation from 1986 (Akbur 2002). That year witnessed the government mandating manpower cuts within the Civil Service in response to the economic downturn (Quah 2010). The SPF faced the dilemma of needing to follow through its roadmap for rolling out Neighbourhood Police Posts, a labour-intensive endeavour, whilst facing a manpower shortage (Singh 2000). Added to these woes was the increasingly tight labour market that meant competition for senior and junior police officers would be stiff (Coe and Kelly 2000). Keen to retain and attract candidates of a 104  high calibre, recruitment drives had to be scaled up. Crime Watch’s image needed to be burnished through favourable depictions of officers on-the-job. Against this backdrop, the police needed to be represented not just as moral guardians dishing out crime prevention information, but also as capable and effective crime-solvers who achieved great job satisfaction. While the moral distinction between the police and the criminal had to remain clearly demarcated to facilitate easy identification with the right side of society, crime-fighting was to be seen as an intellectually-stimulating, physically and mentally adventurous job which was not dangerous to the extent that it became life-threatening. With economic prospects brightening again in the early 1990s, more resources could be devoted towards Crime Watch through an increased frequency of broadcasts (Singapore Police Force 1996). Two trends were soon observable: an increased focus on police procedures and a shift in plotlines of reenactments towards the point of view of the police. In 1993, Crime Watch’s frequency of broadcast began to be normalised. Prior to this, viewers were often left in suspense at the end of each episode, as to when the next one would follow. In moving first to a bimonthly, then a monthly release schedule by the end of 1994, the docudrama began to assume the regular periodicity that characterises its week-day daytime cousin: the soap. Feminist audience studies have taken pleasure with analysing the viewership dynamics of the soap, a genre often derided for its lack of artistic merit, incoherent content, debasement of cultural values and inculcation of passive femininities. The soap may thus be perceived to lie at the heart of the frustration with popular culture. Contrary to the democratisation of ideals promised by the broadening of the television medium, it is feared the public will become reduced to impressionable masses susceptible to the political machinations of media producers. The soap opera is after all defined by an excessive plot structure, a lack of narrative progress, and an indulgence in a fictional ideal-type White bourgeois family life, which together tend to produce an overwhelming sense of frustration for the viewer and viewer-critic. Feminist scholars have nonetheless remain undeterred by the mainstream critical reception, peering into the life-worlds of those who consume soaps with the hope of finding out how these viewing pleasures can be incorporated in more progressive ways (Modleski 1979).  105  It would appear rather odd to compare Crime Watch with the traditional soap when one considers how Crime Watch is often associated with promoting the masculine crime-fighter persona, especially following the 1989 revamp. In its preference for the conventional closed narrative, action-oriented drama with little dialogue, and a prime-time weekend monthly broadcast74, Crime Watch appears to be the antithesis of the soap. However Crime Watch is precisely the alter-ego of the soap, in its routinisation of the crime docu-drama75 to blend into the landscapes of popular culture in Singapore. The appeal for public feedback by the authorities, the dissemination of morally-singed information, and the promotion of heroic forefathers of the nation have become ubiquitous in modern-day Singapore, thanks in no small measure to the pioneering efforts of Crime Watch. The alter-ego as a literary trope is used to conjure up split personalities whose interpretations are only legible in the diametrically opposing relationship between the two76. In contrast to the soap’s targeted audience of the long-suffering housewife, Crime Watch is the glamorous front of the Singapore Civil Service. The long-standing career public servant who participates in the formal economy to earn the breadwinner’s wage is not the target audience for the show, but rather, the targeted producer given the responsibility for framing a positive but realistic portrayal of the work lives of highlyefficient frontline bureaucrats77. The crime-fighter persona thus reproduces the dominant set of gender relations espoused by the patriarchal state (e.gs. Graham 1995; Salaff 2004; Yeoh 2006; Yeoh and Huang 2010), legitimising the adoption of a disembodied masculine gaze constantly on the look-out for weak feminine nationals targeted for protection. In contradistinction to the passive roles of homemakers and social reproducers in the background, the crime-fighter is assured, confident and outspoken, stoutly taking charge of public affairs through the demonstration of head 74  This has varied over time: Crime Watch used to be shown on prime-time television in the middle of the week. Currently, different language broadcasts are scheduled at different prime-time slots to avoid inundating many free-to-air channels at one go. At present, the English, Chinese and Malay broadcasts are on the weekends, while the Tamil broadcast is on the following Monday night. 75 The docu-drama is of course, itself a hybrid genre which gives the lie to the purity of genres (Derrida 1980). 76 Splitting the ego into two halves is necessarily a painful process that requires a repression of the absent other. 77 Although police officers may sometimes be represented in the attire of an Investigating Officer (polo-tee or longsleeved office shirt and work pants), their uniformed status is never in doubt, as evident in their wearing of conservatively-coloured office attire, sporting of identification tags and carrying of investigation notebooks.  106  knowledge of legal doctrines and procedures. A mastery of any given situation is complete with the co-presence of physically-toned bodies suited in finely-polished and highly-decorated uniforms. As good crime-fighters are able to detect and solve crimes through the ability to command the respect and obedience of legal subjects, a lack of deference to the authority of uniformed officers, itself earned through the exceptional sacrifices rendered in public service, is likely to be viewed with much displeasure from the wounded ego (see McConville and Shepherd 1992; Waddington 1999; Reiner 2000). Motivated by a masculine drive and a heroic courage to succeed that leaves no stone unturned in the pursuit of justice, crime-fighting dismisses alternative concerns which may clash with its investigative rationality. Founded upon a routine devaluation of feminised traits, the crime-fighter persona abrades attempts to pursue progressive objectives, such as being able to empathise with and care for those at the receiving end of domestic abuse (Ganapathy 2006)78. Given the government’s high modernist hierarchicalisation of its Civil Service (Worthington 2003), it would not be far off to subjugate the rest of the public administration to the model of the police. The police are only representing themselves on-screen in part because their quasimilitary79 attire and gear help put a gloss on advertisements for the public sector. More importantly, as a pre-eminent disciplinary institution, police institutions provide both a metaphorical (Foucault 1991) and literal80 training ground for the cultivation of disciplinary  78  Crime-fighting tends to presume the presence of readily identifiable characters in any criminal incident. The roles of offender, victim, witness, alibi, accomplice and kingpin feed into a strong investigative rationality that may come up short when faced with crimes of a serendipitous nature, victimless crimes, or systemic crimes against a particular category of social difference. 79 As opposed to the full-fledged military fatigue, the quasi-military uniform of the police is distinctly civilised in orientation, and serves as the organisational badge of the police in urban settings. Police officers are also regarded as a disciplined lot, whose daily work nonetheless keeps them in touch with the day-to-day affairs of ordinary civilians. 80 Police National Service was formally established in 1975, providing a channel for males to fulfill their National Service obligations. While many authors have speculated on the links between the higher ranks of the military, the state bureaucracy, and the ruling party (e.g. Worthington 2003; Barr and Trocki 2008), much has been left unsaid about the socialisation of ordinary citizens within the spaces of military institutions. In addition, the attention paid to the military has to a certain extent slighted the role of the police in disciplining a large swathe of the population.  107  statecraft81. Under these circumstances, the police can stand-in for other state agencies that are tasked with regulating the conduct of the populace. The banalisation of Crime Watch texts hence gathered tempo with its monthly periodisation82, casting it into the taken-for-granted backdrop of national TV and sanctioning its circulation within the popular imaginations of Singaporeans. The Police Procedural Crime Watch started off its broadcast with a faithful reconstruction of unsolved cases that included a near real-time re-enactment of the scenes leading up to and immediately following the commission of the crime. In its later phases, the increasing emphasis placed upon representing police professionalism resulted not only in the introduction of a police-in-action segment, but also in a re-calibration of the frames of the docu-drama. Given the show’s fixed half-hour format, the increased prominence of police action was accompanied by a reduced visibility for the appeals segment. The inevitable outcome was thus one of re-centering the role of the police in criminal affairs. The solved-crimes segment would typically begin with the discovery and reporting of the crime, pass into the realm of police investigations, leading to the climatic apprehension of the prime suspect. An interrogation of the suspect would then reaffirm the investigative work done by the police, whilst filling in the gaps of the criminal plot. Finally, a judgement will be passed on the criminal, putting an end to the perversion of justice and signalling the return to a safe normalcy. The superimposition of a real-life mug shot of the criminal atop the actor portraying the latter satisfies the viewer’s desire to discover how the ‘deviant’ other really looks like (Jermyn 2003), whilst serving to remind viewers of the authenticity of Crime Watch texts. In outlining this stereotypical story arc, the producers of  81  Note for instance that many contemporary state regulatory agencies were originally set up with the help of police officers. Non-police regulatory authorities have increased over the years, partly in response to the need to purify the sphere of work done by the police. Examples of enforcement activities performed by other state bodies include the enforcement of environmental hygienic standards by the National Environment Agency, parking enforcement by the Land Transport Authority, and prevention of animal cruelty by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority. The police were amongst the pioneers of community engagement within the postcolonial nation, at a time when other state agencies were not keen on civic engagement. 82 Crime Watch now airs 10 times each year through monthly broadcasts from March to December.  108  Crime Watch aspire to emulate the long lineage of detective dramas with a ‘whodunit’ theme (Leishman and Mason 2003; Mason 2003; Carrabine 2008). Nonetheless the short duration allocated for each segment means the audience does not have the luxury of time to ruminate through the details of the crime. Instead, the audience is briskly led along the investigations process by the safe and secure hands of the Investigating Officer and his team. There are many chances for the police to showcase their expertise: these range from the mundane details of producing tamper-proof warrant cards when approaching the public for information, to the roundtable conference where officers form special task forces to tackle insidious crime trends and share intelligence on case files, and the fitness for duty demonstrated in the successful stake-out, pursuit and apprehension of fugitive suspects. The quickened pace of drama however distinguishes Crime Watch from its traditional Western counterparts. Viewers are never allowed to linger on to interact and connect with the police family, and each episode presents different investigative teams to the public. Action also takes place against the backdrop of a well-regulated urban environment, in which chase sequences, unarmed combat, man-hunts and reconnaissance missions assume a constricted form that results in the expeditious arrest of the suspect over a heightened dramatisation of machismo. Dialogue in turn lacks much emotional imagination, often reduced to an instrumental fare where communication is conceived of in terms of putting across the rationality of investigations. Through these stylistic devices, Crime Watch displaces any potential emotional identification with the police in favour of maintaining the uniform(ity) of professionalism that officers are obliged to don, in the discharge of their responsibilities without fear or favour . To differentiate the cop from the robber in order to facilitate identification with the former, the representation of the offender is often skewed towards the trope of the caricature. Ugly physical features, mentally unwell states, despotic but naïve criminal intentions and guiltinduced panicky behaviour are classic stock traits of the offender83. Where offenders are in cahoots with others, the relationship is depicted instrumentally, devoid of any emotional ambivalence. Offenders frequently engage in duplicitous behaviours such as lying, 83  An exception is when the criminals being portrayed are con artists or confidence tricksters, in which case they may be dressed more smartly and appear more presentable  109  backstabbing, betrayal of accomplices and in-fighting. They are also desocialised from their ecological environment, reduced to a mechanistic role of carrying out the crime. While the first phase of Crime Watch witnessed a realistic portrayal of crimes, it created an unintended risk whereby audiences could identify with offenders transgressing the boundaries of the law through performances of ordinary actions. On the flip side, producers have claimed that the realistic portrayal of offenders on screen blurs fact with fiction to such an extent that several elderly viewers believed the televisual footage to be real and mistook the actor for the actual offender (Singapore Police Force 1996)! Such moral ambiguities were hence stamped out by the framing of the stereotypical villain, a monstrosity of a creature who carried out heinous crimes against the innocent unflinchingly, and whose life of crime would eventually be put to an end by the overarching arms of legal justice. Wringed of linguistic dialects, Crime Watch now spots criminals who speak near-perfect English, issue recycled threats to victims, and confess to crimes like they were a bad party joke. In the re-centering of the police on Crime Watch, the element of criminality and its associated thrills of transgression (Ferrell et al. 2008) are defused and diffused, rendering a distinctly unrealistic, negative stereotype of the criminal84. This is perhaps most aptly illustrated by the fact that while police officers are called upon to play themselves on screen, offenders and their immediate friends and relatives are now strictly forbidden from partaking in any role on Crime Watch85 (Personal Interview with Crime Watch Coordinator). The sterile operating environment of Crime Watch thus helps constitute the urban landscape of Singapore within popular culture as highly-functionalistic, orderly and sanitised (Kong and Yeoh 2003). Nonetheless, there are times when an attempt is made to explain the criminogenic behaviour of the offender. On these occasions, the motivations for chronic criminality are put forward in simplistic formulations that tie in with a crime prevention message, such as the need to avoid dabbling in pornography and or risking addiction to gambling, or the dangers of dropping out of  84  Stereotyping of the criminal has resulted in the stigmatisation of criminals in Singapore. Such is the staying power of the stigma that the Singapore Prisons Service had to be compelled to initiate several rehabilitative projects in an explicit attempt to re-integrate ex-offenders back into society. Such projects however continue to be pitted against long-running genre staples like Crime Watch. 85 In the past, Crime Watch relied upon police officers to play the roles of villains as well.  110  school and joining street corner societies. The stage is set for a moral guardian from the force to issue another well-timed crime advisory. Preventing Crime Crime prevention first gathered a significant institutional form in Singapore in 1977, with the establishment of the Crime Prevention Branch within the SPF (Akbur 2002). The unit was tasked with identifying crime risks and recommending remedial and precautionary measures to guard against crime. While the move towards crime prevention was reflective of British trends in administrative criminology (see Clarke 1980), the SPF itself invested much resource into the endeavour from the standpoint that it would be more efficient to prevent crime than to respond to it (Quah 1994; Sim 2011). The branch was elevated to a division in 1981, reflecting its contemporary salience. That same year, a separate independent body, the National Crime Prevention Council was established (Sim 2011). The objective of crime prevention began to be actively decentralised within the police in the decade from 1983 onwards, with the formal pursuit of community policing via the construction of neighbourhood police posts (NPP) (Quah and Quah 1987). The NPP became a mouthpiece of crime prevention, as residents of the neighbourhood were treated to house visits by police officers. NPP officers seized the opportunity to establish contact points with the population, impart crime prevention information to residences, and carry out crime risk surveys within households. The NPP itself became a mini-hub for the dissemination of crime prevention information, hosting the display of posters, pamphlets and videos, alongside the provision of a service counter to be manned by officers throughout the day. Against the backdrop of the rolling out of NPPs, Crime Watch hit the airwaves providing a more efficient option in the communication of crime prevention information. From the first phase of Crime Watch, a crime prevention segment was already in place, forming an impressionable mould for subsequent episodes. As mentioned earlier, Crime Watch at its inception immediately targeted the residential population through its triangulation of the five preventable crimes within residential neighbourhoods (Singapore Police Force 1996). The televisual medium provided a warrant-free entry into the private space of homes (Jermyn 2003) 111  in a way that also did not require the hassle of making the rounds for house visits. Crime prevention segments started off initially sandwiched between two reconstructions of unsolved cases, occupying the middle frame of a 30-minute broadcast. Its location within each episode thus helps the transition between two story arcs86. In fact each reconstruction is frequently accompanied by related crime prevention information directly prior to commencement and immediately following the conclusion of a story, while stylistic forebodings and moralised warnings on crime litter its content. The central role of crime prevention is accordingly highlighted: much as the police have staked their reputation on the ability to solve the highprofiled crimes broadcast to the public, crime prevention still provides the basic premise and organising principle of Crime Watch. The first phase of the crime prevention segment was characterised by two consecutive enactments of preventable crimes, in which the first scenario would illustrate a successful criminal operation, while the second would identify the ways in which the criminal operation could have been foiled by adopting adequate crime prevention measures. In 1993, this didactic approach towards crime prevention was replaced by a single enactment of what should have been a preventable crime, followed by the customary issuing of a crime prevention advisory by the show’s presenter, interspersed with footages of personal interviews with the victim of the crime, presentation slides on mnemonic crime prevention information, and further advisories given by an executive member of the National Crime Prevention Council or a senior officer from the force. As the stock of preventable crimes became heard like a well-worn cliché, Crime Watch moved towards an expanded crime prevention segment titled ‘Public Education’. In this, traditional preventable crimes are back under the spotlight in response to worrying crime trends. The latter’s presence serves to justify the repeated admonitions by the police presenter of Crime Watch. However the moralised warnings issued by the bespectacled man/woman of the law can easily (col)lapse into the popular motif of the nagging mother/ mother-in-law in  86  One may also speculate that another reason for locating the crime prevention segment in the middle is to reduce the likelihood of disinterested viewers switching channels or turning off the TV during this less entertaining portion.  112  popular culture87, when the lack of ingenuity reproduces the all-too-familial crime prevention rhetoric over the decades. The professional make-up of the presenter and his compatriots can scarcely conceal the staid crime prevention messages that are being propagated by the internationally-renowned ‘nanny state’88. The lack of emotional engagement in re-enactments is not helped by didactic crime prevention messages, which while promoting a cognitive awareness of crime prevention, simultaneously facilitate a re-appropriation of intended meanings by the alert, sceptical viewer. Perhaps in response to this the public education segment frequently turns to other authorities89 to moralise wayward citizens. In conjunction with a rise in popularity of the techniques of the police procedural, Crime Watch has turned to the expertise of science and technology (Latour and Woolgar 1986) to augment its viewership. If re-enactments of solved cases were unclear in their procedural objectives, the public education segment makes it explicit what is valued. The latest technological gear of the police is routinely exhibited to project the image of a modernising force that draws upon sophisticated weaponry in the battle against crime. Technology does not merely serve as a labour-saving device or a human prosthesis, but is called upon to buttress the scientific rationality of investigations and to re-assert the objectivity of knowledge claims that ‘the truth will out’ (Valier 2004). Detection technologies were publicised in the areas of traffic management (the speed camera; ‘smart’ traffic lights; the breathalyser), uncovering of counterfeited state documents (magnifying devices; ultraviolet lighting; holographic imaging), customs inspection (police dogs; x-ray scanners; chemical testing), and intellectual property rights enforcement (bar code scanning; certification craft; microchip tagging). These were accompanied by the promotion of specialist units within the force, whereby lesser-known units or newly minted units are highlighted as elite task forces set up to combat special crimes. The professional standing of the police is attributable to their high levels of proficiency on criminal 87  A central storyline of most Chinese and Malay drama serials in Singapore revolves around the tension between the wife and mother-in-law (Chua 2004). 88 According to some commentators (e.g. Tan 2001), the dominant brand of conservative national politics has resulted in the feminisation of the public sphere, burdening it with the duties of social reproduction, of which crime prevention is but one. 89 A recent trend has been to rope in Mediacorp celebrities to present special crime prevention segments. Celebrities have of course been doing their part for the police for decades, in the form of guest-appearances in Crime Prevention roadshows and by starring in police-themed dramas.  113  matters, illustrated through various literary tropes. Casual mentions of technical (including legal) jargons litter dialogues, allusions to extensive training, performances of tactical awareness, depictions of astute practices of intelligence-gathering, exposés of the modus operandi of criminals, invocations of myriad classificatory regimes and consistent framing of the confident, composed disposition of the presenter together help secure the scene of professional crime-fighting from ordinary members of the public. Aspiring crime-fighters and civic-minded citizens are thus reminded of the professional distance that separates them and dilettantes from professionals, with the only legitimate way to pursue a career of adrenalinepumping, crime-busting action being to join the SPF as a police officer. Academic disciplines are also increasingly used to corroborate the truth claims of Crime Watch. Two particular fields of study are important for these claims, the first of which is forensics. Following the revamp of Crime Watch in 1994, the series has popularised the image of the fingerprint as the harbinger of non-falsifiable biometric identifiers. It has become perfunctory for the opening credits of Crime Watch to allocate to the fingerprint prominent spots within the montage of sequences. Within the showcase of investigative procedures, the dusting of fingerprints has become a priority from the mid-1990s, and proud mention is made of the force’s centralised computerised fingerprint database that is gradually being realigned with regional and international standards of processing. The emergence of the forensics laboratory within narratives also took place from this period, with investigators turning to the medical verdicts of forensic pathologists and state coroners for help in solving highly-publicised murder cases. Scholars have commented upon the perceptible changes to the criminal justice system in the wake of what has been dubbed ‘The CSI Effect’ (Byers and Johnson 2009). When the physical evidence carries a judicial weight equivalent to the Truth, it is capable of overriding traditional expert opinion of the medico-psychiatric-criminological rehabilitative institutions, the testimonies of eye-witnesses, and the arguments of legal representatives alike. Nonetheless it is prudent to recall that the CSI effect may in fact be yet another iteration of the long lineage of media effects studies which purport unproblematically to link on-screen representations to the behaviour of audiences. It may therefore be more fruitful to trace the historical context of production and re-production, as well as the motives of proponents of these media effects 114  studies. In the case of Crime Watch, evidence is fetishised to the extent that it complements the professional integrity of police officers, who are depicted as team members tirelessly working the evidence trail, and to the extent that the publicity of detection technologies is believed to provide an effective deterrence to potential offenders, a claim which needs detailed examination. In addition to forensics, a second discipline increasingly represented on Crime Watch from 1994 onwards is psychology. The latter’s claim to fame is its alleged ability to explain the deviant behaviours of criminals, whilst providing psychological counselling to victims of crime. Psychologists have been called upon to provide expertise on matters ranging from why drivers speed, why youths join street corner societies and gangs and consume banned drugs, why persons become addicted to pornography, to why victims of rape and molestation do not come forward to report those crimes, why the elderly in particular fall prey to confidence tricksters, and why many incidents of domestic abuse remain silenced. This wide-ranging job description is performed through personal interviews with psychologists that are fitted within a segment on crime trends, locating the tool of academe under the command of the police. Framed as such on Crime Watch, the status of the psychologist in effect becomes reduced to the generic expert, as he/she becomes a mere mouthpiece of the crime prevention machine, propagating sound bites that are either already scripted or made to fit the plotlines of the segment. It is through this that we can understand how victims of rape are encouraged to place top priority on reporting the crime to the police rather than indulging in self-pity or denial, or how it is not ‘cool ‘ to take drugs or join gangs because your friends are doing it. Crime Watch actively psychologises viewers on the right behaviour to adopt with regards to crime as a victim, perpetrator, present eye-witness or non-present televisual witness. If the first phase of Crime Watch was mainly targeted at building up rapport with the public and at soliciting information on crimes, by the late 1990s it had started to move towards an activation of contacts to perform a greater degree of self-policing, without abandoning the traditional crime prevention goals. The latter function remains important, because it emphasises the constant need to reiterate basic crime prevention advisories not only in accordance with 115  changing generational dynamics, but also because advisories have increasingly fallen on deaf ears over the years. An image of the recalcitrant child refusing to heed well-intentioned parental teachings can come to mind (see Yao 2007), leading the presenter of Crime Watch, the maternal voice in contradistinction to the paternalistic field of action, to continually harp on issues of yesteryear when preventable crimes are simply not being prevented. Crime prevention advices for particular preventable crimes have thus acquired a certain longevity over the decades. Juxtaposing the list of prevention measures for a particular crime over time would reveal that it has largely remained the same (see Chapter 3). Hence while there are attempts to move forward with greater responsibilisation of the population, basic crime prevention cannot be cast off yet. Finally, it is worth noting that in lieu of the police-centric representations of crime prevention, what Crime Watch reveals is the psyche of the police and those of its future recruits. Crime Watch’s impoverished depiction of criminogenic behaviour also unnecessarily restricts the imagination of police officers when they are handling real-life criminals. Rather than inviting potentially useful debates on criminogenic influences within contemporary society, its caricature of the criminal reproduces stereotypes that limit critical thinking through the re-assertion of an unchallenged claim to criminal expertise. Entertaining the Senses Crime Watch’s greatest claim to fame undoubtedly pertains to its ability to entertain. From the pilot episode to the most recent broadcast, Crime Watch has consistently raked in strong viewership numbers. It is the desire to watch Crime Watch for various gratifications that drives viewers to tune in to the programme. With the move towards greater professionalism by the SPF in the 1990s, Mediacorp Studios had to keep abreast of changes in the entertainment industry in order to keep its client satisfied. Entertainment has thus far been shown to be scripted to nourish a masculine crime-fighter ego that burnished the reputation of the stateproducer90. Alongside careful management of the police’s on-screen persona, Crime Watch  90  The ability of state-producers to be entertained by watching a video of the finished production is carefully considered in a later section. For now, generic traits are identified.  116  underwent a series of experimental changes91 in its post-production techniques to better accommodate an increasingly corporatised police force, and to continue to be able to attract audiences. Opening credits were gradually modified to inject a greater pace into the montage of scenes at the start of each broadcast. Technologies of policing were routinely upgraded to reflect the latest developments in the field. More diverse footages of differently geared police units in action were showcased, highlighting the various elements of the Home Team92 working together in concert to protect Singapore. The switch to digitised fonts accompanied by slick keyboard typing tones helped impress upon the viewer the embrace of new digital media by the police. The dual-presenter studio recording format of the 1990s, in which a female civilian celebrity was paired with a male police officer, soon gave way to a single-presenter format. A lone male or female uniformed presenter was recruited to engage the audience directly, and he/she was moved out of the studio into public places for the shoot. The presenter would no longer be seen seated snugly within a studio, but would take to public housing estates, shopping malls, public transportation hubs, community centres and the front counters of different police departments to deliver his/her anchoring statements in front of cameras. He/she would be standing to address the public and subtle on-screen movements in the way of hand signals, small paces and slight bodily gestures help ingratiate the audience into the filming world of reenactments. This rationalisation of presentation thereby simplifies the direction of communication with the audience. In contrast to being a third party to conversations between presenters, the audience is explicitly interpellated as a subject of the state bearing certain privileges and responsibilities. Crime Watch thus helps to extend the power of the police and the state in its latest installment.  91  This was perhaps most obvious in the experiment with an extended opening credits from 2000-2002. The original jarring, hard-hitting soundtrack was elaborated upon with soft melodic tunes featuring the humming of a female vocalist, in what could be construed as an attempt to capture the sentimental aspects of policing. This format was soon abandoned in favour of the original shorter version. 92 Since 1997, the ‘Home Team’ groups together the different departments under the Ministry of Home Affairs. The creation of the Home Team concept aims to harness greater synergy amongst the various departments.  117  A greater application of professionalised editing techniques graced the new Crime Watch. Overlaying of film footage with close-up shots, still images of photo evidence, screen-shots of electronic devices, interviews with key witnesses, and CCTV videos gives a thicker texture to individual episodes, increasing their textual complexity. Contemporary videos are an amalgamation of different layers of footage, diverging sharply from the early episodes of Crime Watch which were composed by fewer, continuous, long production takes. The multiplysourced layers refract the multi-mediated representational techniques which have been harnessed by the police to detect criminal spaces. The compilation of layers serves to document a celebratory mosaic of the everyday life of police officers in policing criminality through utilising different investigative technologies and police procedures. In the process, the rich geographical imaginaries of the investigation trail are also stitched together for viewing pleasure. As investigators piece together the crime-puzzle, the viewer is encouraged to broaden his geographical imaginations through tracing the social biographies of everyday objects (Watts 1999). A section of masking tape used for wrapping up a corpse is traced to its place of origins, a luggage tag found in the dustbin links to a receipt of purchase for the luggage, and stolen jewellery passes through the deposit boxes of pawnshops before being put up for resale. Through more sophisticated techniques of post-production, Crime Watch is able to better convey the interconnections in the evidence chain. Additionally, the filmic technique of montage has been increasingly applied in re-enactments. The sequencing of montages accelerates the pace of action through a compression of the investigation chain, whilst emphasising the perseverance of officers who kept on going93 until justice was served. Experimentation with split frames allows the viewer to get a sense of the simultaneity of action and the urgency of resolving a criminal investigation. Finally, the improved technical ability to mix different sounds, filmic speeds and vantage point shots together provide a richer repertoire of technologies for the mobilisation of affects94.  93  The montage is most often used in illustrating the comprehensive, exhausting process of interviewing witnesses and passers-by for information related to a crime. Multiple responses are lined up one after another in quick succession as a reply to the posing of an opening question by the investigating officer. 94 Perhaps the most prominent use of enhanced post-production editing technologies lies in the stitching together of footages to produce the trailer for Crime Watch. Aired approximately a week before the scheduled broadcast of  118  A notable shift in the format of each episode marked the increased emphasis being placed on entertaining audiences. From a distinct three-segment programmatic format that stabilised the iterations of future episodes in the decade of 1995-2004, from 2005 onwards, Crime Watch began experimenting with different formats that included: (i) lengthening the police-in-action segment to cover the air-time of two normal segments; (ii) including two separate or partially related public education segments; and (iii) diminution of the public assistance segment through its submergence under a police-in-action segment or a public education segment, or its complete removal from an episode. Hence, there has been a greater fluidity in the structure of each episode, with the overall effect being the prioritisation of the police-in-action segment, at the expense of the public assistance agenda. The trend appears to have been stabilised in 2011, when Crime Watch has ostensibly settled on a new routine of having just two segments: (i) an extended police-in-action segment that spans the first two parts of each episode; and (ii) a single public education segment that occupies the final third of each episode. The new format has the advantage of situating the re-enactment of a solved crime over a commercial break, allowing producers to serve up a mini-cliffhanger in between a story arc. The re-enactment is thus dramatically reinforced through the provision of longer air-time and the heightening of tension over the commercial break. Despite the change in programmatic format and the constitution of craft through an advancement of post-production technologies, it is important to avoid overgeneralisations. Common to textual analyses, it is important to recognise the partial, overdetermined