Singapore Police Coast Guard compares notes with Marine

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Four Singapore Police Coast Guard (SPCG) officers recently visited the Small Boat Division (SBDIV) to take a look at the unit's role, methods and day-to-day operations.

The officers - Station Inspector William Foo, Senior Staff Sergeant Jumaat Bin Almad and Staff Sergeants Lim Jit-bing and Mohd Noor Bin Mid Shariff - were the latest batch of SPCG officers to spend five days with Marine Region from March 5 to 9 under a regular reciprocal attachment programme. The programme aims to provide officers from both places with an opportunity for self-development and to enable them to learn the different approaches to common maritime law enforcement issues.

On March 5, the Singaporean officers were welcomed on arrival by Acting Superintendent Mark Anstiss and the officers of Sub-Unit 3. After being briefed on equipment, training, vessels, operational environment and safety issues, the SPCG officers boarded a Damen Cougartek High Speed Interceptor and a Fast Pursuit Craft (FPC) at SBDIV's Government Dockyard headquarters to take a close look at the vessels' onboard navigation and engine systems.

On March 6, the SPCG officers returned for a nighttime anti-illegal immigration operation on board a Cougartek and a FPC in Marine West Division. Used to the tropical climate of Singapore, the officers found Hong Kong's 10oC a little chilly and were pleased with the insulation equipment issued for the operation! Following the operation, the Singaporean officers moved straight to Marine North Division for an anti-smuggling operation at Starling Inlet on board a pair of FPCs. On arrival the temperature and excitement rose sharply as they were soon involved in a genuine high-speed pursuit of a twin-engined speedboat fully loaded with contraband.

On conclusion of the attachment, Mr Anstiss said: "Our SPCG counterparts were all business from minute one. Staff Sergeant Noor is a small boat officer back in Singapore and he was very keen both to validate what his own officers are doing and to learn as much about us as possible in the short amount of time available.

"I was asked a lot of searching questions about operational tactics, equipment maintenance and reliability, matters of occupational safety and health, as well as training. Whilst pursuing and intercepting smugglers using speedboats is a daily occurrence for our SBDIV officers, this kind of experience is comparatively rare in Singapore. Staff Sergeant Noor explained that his men get perhaps two such experiences a year. From that perspective, the whole attachment was a big success," Mr Anstiss added.

During their trip, the Singaporean officers also visited the Marine South and West Divisions, Marine Regional Command and Control Centre and Trial and Maintenance Unit. Before departure, the delegates said the reciprocal attachment programme had provided an excellent opportunity for Hong Kong and Singapore to learn from each other, and looked forward to closer ties in the future.

Mr Anstiss accepts a plaque from the Singapore Police Coast Guard on behalf of SBDIV

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