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|Singapore Police Force
Pasukan Polis Singapura
சிங்கப்பூர் காவல் துறை
|Logo of the Singapore Police Force.|
|Legal personality||Governmental: Government agency|
|Agency executive||Ng Joo Hee, Commissioner of Police|
|Parent agency||Ministry of Home Affairs|
The Singapore Police Force (Abbreviation: SPF; Chinese: 新加坡警察部队; Malay: Pasukan Polis Singapura; Tamil: சிங்கப்பூர் காவல் துறை) is the main agency tasked with maintaining law and order in the city-state. Formerly known as the Republic of Singapore Police (Abbreviation: RSP; Malay: Polis Republik Singapura), it has grown from an 11-man organisation to a 38,587 strong force. It enjoys a relatively positive public image,[unreliable source?] and is credited for helping to arrest Singapore's civic unrests and lawlessness in its early years, and maintaining the low crime rate today[unreliable source?] despite having a smaller police-citizen ratio compared to other major cities.[unreliable source?] Singapore has been ranked consistently in the top five positions in the Global Competitiveness Report in terms of its reliability of police services.[dead link]
The organisation structure of the SPF is split between the staff and line functions, roughly modelled after the military. There are currently 15 staff departments and 13 line units. The headquarters is located in a block at New Phoenix Park in Novena, adjacent to a twin block occupied by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The Singapore Police Force has a heritage almost as old as that of modern Singapore, having been formed in 1819 with a skeleton force of 11 men under the command of Francis James Bernard, son-in-law of William Farquhar, and kept in operation with a monthly budget of $300. Manpower constraints meant that the men had to perform a wide range of roles, and required the help of headmen amongst the various ethnic communities to maintain orderliness on the streets, all the more possible as the communities lived in segregated areas around the city.
This partnership with the community was in line with Sir Stamford Raffles' vision of a thriving colony largely self-regulated by local social structures, with the British masters administrating it via indirect rule. The large influx of migrants from China, however, began to test this system when the hands-off approach by the British allowed secret societies in Singapore to thrive. Although originally formed with legal intentions of community bonding and the provision of assistance to fellow migrants, these societies gradually became influential, competitive, and increasingly engaged in illegal activity including monetary extortion from the masses, the operation of gambling dens, and the smuggling of illegal goods on top of more legal commercial operations to meet their financial needs.
Competition gradually heated up between large rival factions, such as that between the larger Ghee Hin Kongsi, the Ghee Hock Kongsi and the Hai San Kongsi. Murders, mass riots, kidnappings, arson and other serious crimes became commonplace in the next four decades since the colony's founding. Faced with violent acts of crime which may involve thousands, such as the funeral riots of 1846 involving 9,000 members from the Ghee Hin and Ghee Hock secret societies, the police force was woefully incapable of bringing the situation under control, and often had to call in the army for assistance. The escalating number of serious crimes prompted the need for stronger legislation to deter would-be criminals. Singapore's first executions were thus held in the wake of the first criminal session in June 1828, when a Chinese and Indian were found guilty and convicted for murder.
Headed by Europeans and predominantly staffed by Malay and Indian officers, the force had little Chinese representation as the military and policing professionals were traditionally shunned by the Chinese community, which therefore impaired policing efforts amongst the large Chinese populace. In 1843, the force comprised a sitting magistrate doubling up as a superintendent, three European constables and an assistant native constable, 14 officers and 110 policemen. With a total strength of no more than 150 men, the police was compelled to avoid direct intervention in these mass acts of violence, else risking almost total annihilation.
A repeat of this scenario occurred in 1851, when lingering displeasure against Roman Catholic ethnic Chinese erupted into major rioting leaving over 500 Chinese dead. The army was called in again, although it involved having to induct Indian convicts into military service almost overnight. In 1854, twelve consecutive days of violence sparked by a dispute between the Hokkiens and Teochews disrupted trade. This particular incident led to the formation of the military's Singapore Rifle Corps on 8 July 1854, the earliest predecessor of the Singapore Armed Forces' People's Defence Force today.
Criminal violence was not merely in the domain of the ethnic Chinese, however. Rivalries between Malay princes and communities also often result in acts of violence, which prompted the passing of Singapore's first arms law in March 1823 restricting the right to bear arms to 24 of the Malay Sultan's followers. Nearly two centuries later, these anti-arms laws continue to be strictly enforced, resulting in a society relatively free from firearms-related criminal offences.
We pledge to be loyal and true to the Police service and the Republic of Singapore.
We pledge to uphold the law, to protect life and property, to prevent and detect crime.
We pledge to discharge our responsibilities without fear or favour, regardless of race, language or religion.
We pledge to strive for excellence, to be proactive and to exercise initiative in our duties.
We pledge to serve our community and our country and to be courteous and humane in our dealings with every fellowman.
|Commissioner of Police||Commissioner of Police||CP||Ng Joo Hee||New Phoenix Park, 28 Irrawaddy Road|
|Deputy Commissioner (Policy)||Deputy Commissioner of Police||DCP||T Raja Kumar||New Phoenix Park, 28 Irrawaddy Road|
|Quality Service Manager||Deputy Assistant Commissioner||DAC||Kuldip SINGH||New Phoenix Park, 28 Irrawaddy Road|
|Administration and Finance Department||A&F||SUPT Jo Choo||New Phoenix Park, 28 Irrawaddy Road|
|Commercial Affairs Department||CAD||Tan Boon Gin||Police Cantonment Complex, 391 New Bridge Road Block D|
|Criminal Investigation Department||CID||SAC Hoong Wee Teck||Police Cantonment Complex, 391 New Bridge Road Block C|
|Manpower Department||MPD||SAC Jerry See||New Phoenix Park, 28 Irrawaddy Road|
|Operations Department||OPS||AC Lim Kok Thai||New Phoenix Park, 28 Irrawaddy Road|
|Planning and Organisation Department||P&O||AC Tan Chye Hee||New Phoenix Park, 28 Irrawaddy Road|
|Police Custodial Department||PCD||AC Jarmal Singh||New Phoenix Park, 28 Irrawaddy Road|
|Police Intelligence Department||PID||SAC Ng Ser Song||New Phoenix Park, 28 Irrawaddy Road|
|Police Logistics Department||PLD||DAC Stephen Teng||New Phoenix Park, 28 Irrawaddy Road|
|Police National Service Department||PNSD||DAC Tan Chong Hee||Old Police Academy, 1 Mount Pleasant Road Block 2A|
|Police Technology Department||PTD||Kan Siew Ning||New Phoenix Park, 28 Irrawaddy Road|
|Public Affairs Department||PAD||AC Ng Guat Ting||New Phoenix Park, 28 Irrawaddy Road|
|Security Industry Regulatory Department||SIRD||DAC Jessica Kwok||New Phoenix Park, 28 Irrawaddy Road|
|Service Development and Inspectorate Department||SDI||DAC Kuldip Singh||New Phoenix Park, 28 Irrawaddy Road|
|Volunteer Special Constabulary||VSC||AC (V) S Lakshmanan||Police Cantonment Complex, 391 New Bridge Road Block C|
|Traffic Police Department||TP||AC Cheang Keng Keong||10 Ubi Avenue 3|
|Training Command||TRACOM||AC Zuraidah Abdullah||Home Team Academy, 501 Old Choa Chu Kang Road|
|National Police Cadet Corps||NPCC||SUPT Mohd Redhza bin Abdul Rahim||Home Team Academy, 501 Old Choa Chu Kang Road|
|Ang Mo Kio Police Division||'F' Division||DAC Keok Tong San||51 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 9|
|Bedok Police Division||'G' Division||DAC How Kwang Hwee||30 Bedok North Road|
|Central Police Division||'A' Division||DAC Daniel Tan Sin Heng||Police Cantonment Complex, 391 New Bridge Road Block A|
|Clementi Police Division||'D' Division||DAC Melvin Yong Yik Chye||20 Clementi Avenue 5|
|Jurong Police Division||'J' Division||AC Florence Chua Siew Lian||2 Jurong West Avenue 5|
|Tanglin Police Division||'E' Division||AC Koh Yak Leng||21 Kampong Java Road|
|Airport Police Division||AP||DAC Sam Tee Chong Fui||35 Airport Boulevard|
|Gurkha Contingent||GC||DAC Ross Forman||Mount Vernon Camp|
|Police Coast Guard||PCG||AC Hsu Sin Yun||11 Brani Way|
|Public Transport Security Command||TransCom||DAC Gerald LIM Han Ming, PK||132 Paya Lebar Road (Old Geylang Police Station, Geylang NPC)|
|Security Command||SecCom||DAC Lim Chee Pheng||2 Lorong 4 Toa Payoh (Old Toa Payoh Police Station)|
|Special Operations Command||SOC||AC Anthony NG Kin Hian||Queensway Base|
The Singapore Police Force receives the highest budget allocation annually compared to the various departments of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), regularly accounting for about 50% ot its annual budget. For the financial year 2006 (for the year beginning 1 April 2006), S$2.27 billion was budgeted to the MHA, of which 52.8%, or S$1.28 billion was allocated for the Police Programme. Actual expenses in the 2006 financial year was S$1.33 billion, of which S$1.14 billion was spent on operating expenditure (against the budgeted S$1.10 billion) and S$188.28 million on development expenditure (budgeted at $171.52 million). Manpower costs amounting to S$709.11 million continue to dominate the SPF's expenditure, accounting for 62.2% of its operating expenditure and 53.4% of total expenditure in FY2006.
|Year ended||Operating Expenditure||Development Expenditure||Total Expenditure|
|31 March 2004||325.61||636.47||962.08||142.14||1,104.22|
|31 March 2005||325.27||655.56||980.83||214.83||1,195.66|
|31 March 2006||343.11||668.62||1011.73||948,615,140||267.74||246,085,700||1,279.47||1,194,700,840|
|31 March 2007||431.13||709.11||1,140.24||1,103,597,000||188.28||171,522,700||1,328.52||1,275,119,700|
|31 March 2008||-||-||-||1,218,736,370||-||69,353,000||-||1,288,089,370|
|31 March 2009||-||-||-||1,246,301,000||-||129,985,000||-||1,376,286,000|
The latest budget for financial year 2008, S$1.38 billion was allocated to the Police Programme, or 47.2% of MHA's total budget of S$2.91 billion (The Ministry of Defence, in comparison, receives a S$10.08 billion budget allocation). This includes S$1.25 billion for Operating expenditure and $129.99 million for Development Expenditure. The main Development Expenditures expected in FY2008 included the installation of an electronic surveillance system, the building of an Integrated Tactical Training Centre and procurement of new Coastal Patrol Crafts for the Police Coast Guard.
As at 31 March 2007, the total strength of the force stands at 34,397, of which 12,496 are full-time staff. Manpower trends in recent years are as follows:
|31 March 2003||7,791||1,210||3,664||21,843||1,020||35,528|
|31 March 2004||8,035||1,238||4,104||22,311||1,098||36,786|
|31 March 2005||8,001||1,255||3,958||23,461||1,164||37,839|
|31 March 2006||7,949||1,246||3,861||24,349||1,182||38,587|
|31 March 2007||7,826||1,206||3,464||20,852||1,049||34,397|
The full-time uniformed officers are predominantly male, accounting for about 87% of total full-time strength. This is in part due to the all-male profile of PNSFs, although the ratio of female regular officers has been steadily increasing over the years. The force is also dominated by younger officers. Besides the presence of PNSFs who usually serve up to two years typically from age 18, there is also a relatively high turnover rate amongst regular officers.
Regulars, or uniformed, full-time officers, constitute about 20% of the police's total workforce and number approximately 8,000 in strength. Basic entry requirements for police officers include normal fitness levels, good eyesight, and at least five passes in the GCE Ordinary level or a NITEC from the Institute of Technical Education, although those with lower qualifications may still be considered. Those joining the senior police officers require a basic degree from a recognised university. Alternatively, police officers from the junior ranks may also be considered for promotion into the senior ranks. Officers serving in the force as national servicemen are also regularly considered for absorption into the regular scheme. Basic training for all officers are conducted at the Home Team Academy, under the purview of the Police Training Command. It takes about six months and nine months to train a new police officer and senior police officer respectively.
As is the case with many other civil service positions in Singapore, the salaries of police officers are reviewed in accordance to market rates. Salaries are kept competitive as part of anti-corruption measures. Gross starting salaries for police officers may range from S$1,559.43 to $2,186.90, and that of senior police officers from S$2,650.00 to S$3,889.00, depending on entry qualifications and National Service.
Police officers commence their careers as Sergeants (Full GCE 'A' level or Diploma holders) or Corporals (other qualifications), while senior police officers start as either Assistant Superintendent of Police (2nd Upper Honours Degree and above) or Inspectors (2nd Lower Honours degree and lower). Reviews of an officer's performance for promotion consideration are conducted annually. Interviews conducted for promotion to certain ranks were phased out since 1995. It takes approximately five years for a police officer to be promoted to the next rank, although the system allows for accelerated promotion for outstanding officers.
While joining the force as a career is generally considered a respectable decision in contemporary Singapore, support from the ethnic Malay community has been traditionally stronger due to less social stigma attached to the profession. Traditionally, Chinese culture has eschewed careers in uniformed positions, resulting in a force dominated by non-Chinese officers for most of the force's early history. National servicemen also contribute a higher proportion of ethnic Malays in the force. The current ethnic profile of the force continues to have a significantly higher proportion of ethnic minorities compared to the national ethnic profile, although such an outcome is related to operational demands: police resources are typically deployed with a diverse ethnic mix to decrease communication problems while attending to incidents in ethnically-diverse Singapore.
Competition in the employment market, usually heating up during economic boom times, occasionally depressed the number of police recruits as well as its existing ranks. A series of major incidents in 2008 affecting agencies of the Home Affairs Ministry has led to the ministry conducting a study which concluded that there is a shortage of officers, resulting in officers being "overstretched, strained and overstressed". In the police force, it was admitted that the recruitment and retention of non-graduate police officers has been "adversely affected by the tighter labour market", with resignation rates increasing by 50% between 2004 and 2007. Recruitment figures, while remaining relatively stable, has been unable to "address the higher demands placed on the Force". Various measures were thus taken in response, including an increase in starting salaries, sign-on bonuses for senior police officers, and retention bonuses of up to S$30,000 for non-graduate police officers in a bid to encourage them to stay for at least eight years, over the five years where many leave at the end of their service bonds.
While national service was introduced in 1967 in Singapore, it was solely geared towards the building up of the Singapore Armed Forces. There was little urgency in the police force to increase its manpower strength until the Laju incident in 1974 demonstrated the need for additional trained reserve officers who can be called up at short notice in the event of an emergency. National service was thus extended to the Singapore Police Force in 1975, with the primary aim of guarding key installations and to act as a reserve unit. Subsequent expansion of the scheme, changing security needs, and the trend in outsourcing installation protection (such as to the Auxiliary Police Forces) has expanded their role to more functions, which may range from administration, investigation to front-line policing alongside their regular counterparts.
Formed in 1946, The Volunteer Special Constabulary (VSC) is an important component of the Singapore Police Force, contributing more than fifty years of volunteer service to the nation.
The VSC is composed of volunteers from all walks of life in Singapore, from businessmen to blue-collar executives to even bus captains, bonded with the same aspiration to serve the nation by complementing the Singapore Police Force. They are vested with equal powers of a police officer to enforce law and order in Singapore. VSC Officers don the same police uniform and patrol the streets, participate in anti-drug operations and sometimes even high-speed sea chases.
Civilian staff in the Police Force are deployed in areas such as technology, logistics, human resource and administrative and finance services as well as investigation, planning and intelligence. The civilian staff schemes falls under the general civil service schemes managed by the Public Service Division. These schemes include:
The civilization of non-core police functions have accelerated over the years in order to free up additional manpower for redeployment into Police Divisions. Other changes include the deployment of contract staff through organizations such as Ministry of Finance's VITAL.org for administrative staff and partners such as Singapore Technologies, CSA Singapore for technical support.
Dark blue (or more accurately Dacron blue) is the organisational colour of the Singapore Police Force, and has remained so continuously since 1969, although the first police uniforms introduced in 1856 were also in the same colour.
On 1 July 1969, dacron blue made a comeback to the uniform with a force-wide change away from khaki overnight, in part to coincide with Singapore's 150th anniversary since its founding in 1819. The new uniform comprises a dark blue peak cap, shirt, trousers, black belt, shoes and socks, and coded whistle lanyard in blue and white. 3 large and 4 small metal buttons, metal collar badges, and a metal cap badge are affixed, and a black plastic name tag completes the uniform. Metallic ranks, if any, are fixed to the sleeve or on the shoulders for senior officers. The lanyard was changed to a metal chain in 1972, and in 1985, the material of the uniform was changed from 75% polyester 25% cotton to 100% polyester for ease of daily maintenance.
Derivatives of the standard blue uniform (collectively called the no.3 uniform) was adopted for specialised forces and for all officers in various occasions which calls for more formal or casual attire. The Traffic Police Department was amongst the few to move away from the all-blue attire, adopting a short-sleeved white tunic, dark blue breeches, a black leather Sam Browne belt, and riding boots for its officers performing mobile squad duties. A white crash helmet is worn when on the move, while a new dark blue jockey cap with chequered white and dark blue patterns around its circumference is worn when convenient while performing static duty. Members of the Vigilante Corps are also attired by a white short-sleeved top similar in design to the dark blue version for normal officers, gold-coloured buttons and badges, and a dark blue beret in place of the peak cap.
Combat uniforms has also been adopted for specialist units such as those from the Special Operations Command and the Police Coast Guard (PCG), collectively known as the No.4 uniforms. These involve the replacement of metal buttons with sewn-on plastic ones, the avoidance of all other metallic accruements which are deemed potentially hazardous to the officer or to others and the use of long-sleeved shirts. SOC officers wear combat boots while officers in PCG use lace up leather shoes with non-slip soles. These units also tend to adopt the beret as their headgear, although PCG officers use the baseball cap while on operational duties.
There was no major change to the uniform since then, except for the adoption of embroidered shoulder ranks and badges for all ranks in the 1990s. Other changes are less distinct, such as the upgrading of shoes used, the change of the belt material and belt buckle to one including the police crest, and changes to the peak cap to a more durable and ventilated version.
A standard rank structure is used throughout the police force, although some ranks may be unique to specific organisations. These ranks are denoted where applicable in the following list, which lists them in ascending seniority:
The rank of Corporal was abolished in 1972, but reinstated in 1976. In 1997, all ranks were shifted from the sleeves to the epaulettes, except for the Gurkha Contingent. Also in the same year, the Station Inspector rank was changed from collar pips to epaulettes with a new design similar to that of the SAF Warrant Officers, and the rank of Senior Station Inspector was introduced. In 1998, the Senior Station Inspector (2) rank was introduced, and changes were made to the SI, SSI, and SSI(2) rank designs. The rank of Lance Corporal was abolished in 2002. The 2006, the Gurkha Contingent adopted embroidered ranks as part of an overhaul of its combat dress, but are worn on the right front pocket.
|Corporal||CPL||TCPL||CPL||SC/CPL||CPL (NS)||CPL (V)||CPL|
|Sergeant||SGT||TSGT||SGT||SC/SGT||SGT (NS)||SGT (V)||SGT|
|Staff Sergeant||SSGT||-||SSGT||SC/SSGT||SSGT (NS)||SSGT (V)||SSGT|
|Senior Staff Sergeant||SSSGT||-||SSSGT||-||SSSGT (NS)||SSSGT (V)||SSSGT|
|Station Inspector||SI||-||SI||-||SI (NS)||SI (V)||SI|
|Senior Station Inspector||SSI||-||SSI||-||SSI (NS)||SSI (V)||-|
|Senior Station Inspector (2)||SSI (2)||-||SSI (2)||-||SSI(2) (NS)||SSI(2)(V)||-|
|INSP (NS)||INSP (V)||INSP|
|Assistant Superintendent||ASP||P/ASP||ASP||ASP (NS)||ASP (V)||ASP|
|Deputy Superintendent||DSP||-||DSP||-||DSP (NS)||DSP (V)||DSP|
|Deputy Assistant Commissioner||DAC||-||DAC||-||-||DAC (V)||DAC|
|Senior Assistant Commissioner||SAC||-||SAC||-||-||-||-|
|Deputy Commissioner of Police||DCP/DC||-||DCP||-||-||-||-|
|Commissioner of Police||CP||-||CP||-||-||-||-|
Police officers in the various divisions are armed when conducting regular uniformed patrols and plainclothes duties. A force-wide change from the 5-shot Smith & Wesson Model 36 (with 3 inch barrel) to the 5-shot .38 Taurus Model 85 was undertaken in August 2002, featuring a laser sight and a new snatch-resistant holster. A new speedloader was introduced in the same year to replace the old bullet pouch, allowing for quicker reloading of the revolvers and reducing the likelihood of misplaced bullets. In 2001, the Monadnock[dead link] PR-21 side handle baton (more commonly known as the T-baton) replaced the wooden batons and retractable nightsticks to enhance their defensive capabilities. In addition, each officer is issued with one pair of handcuffs.
The primary communication tool carried by each officer is through a digital radio set provided by Matra Nortel Communications, the same provider for other Home Team organisations such as the Singapore Civil Defence Force. A trial of individual palmtops (called mPOD), developed from the Hewlett-Packard Jornada 928, which allows officers to screen persons and vehicles on the go without having to rely on radio communication. There are currently no plans to roll out the mPOD forcewide as the results of the trial were not considered favourable.
Also currently on trial by officers from Bukit Merah East Neighbourhood Police Centre and Geylang Neighbourhood Police Centre is the Taser X26 stun gun, which provides another non-lethal means of subduing suspects. Despite some safety concerns due to incidents experienced by foreign police forces, the weapon was deemed suitable for use by trained personnel, and was rolled out in phases across other NPCs.
Strict enforcement of anti-arm laws which are in existence in Singapore since 1823 has resulted in a relatively disarmed society, where firearms-related crimes are rare. It is therefore not an operational requirement for police officers to don bulletproof vests when conducting normal policing duties. However, these vests are carried in police vehicles and stocked in police establishments and can be rapidly utilised should the situation require it. From 2004, new multi-purpose vests were introduced which offer officers protection against most handgun fire, knife thrusts, as well as doubling up as a buoyancy vest should officers fall into deep water.
In 2006, the Singapore Police Force acquired new firearms for the Special Operations Command, namely the Sphinx 3000 pistol. Prior to this, the standard issue for the SOC was the SIG P226 pistol, also operated by the Singapore Armed Forces Military Police Command. Heckler & Koch USP pistols are also known to be used by the Criminal Investigation Department, Special Tactics and Rescue (STAR), Security Command and the Police Coast Guard's Special Task Squadron. The Singapore Police Force, also uses the Heckler & Koch MP5 submachine gun and the Remington 870 shotgun.
Land division officers typically respond to calls in rapid-deployment vehicles known as the Fast Response Car (FRC). The SPF have been staunch users of Japanese-made saloon cars since the 1980s for patrol duties, with the mainstay models in use being the various generations of the Mitsubishi Lancers, Mazda 323s and Toyota Corollas. At the turn of the century they have also included Nissan Sunnys, and most recently acquired Subaru Impreza 1.6 TS sedans (not to be confused with the Subaru Impreza WRX used by the Traffic Police). All FRCs carry a large array of equipment to allow officers to conduct normal policing duties and basic investigative work which officers are expected to perform with the implementation of the Neighbourhood Police Centre (NPC) system. A typical FRC vehicle may therefore stock equipment for the force-opening of locked doors, conducting roadblocks, fingerprint collection, and the provision of first aid. On top of these, chemical agent protection equipment and bulletproof vests are also carried for the officer's protection.
In 2002, the Enhanced Patrol Vehicle Project was unveiled at the SPF's annual workplan seminar to highlight the need for off-road capability. The Volvo V70 AWD XC, Mitsubishi Space Wagon and Mitsubishi Chariot underwent evaluation in various NPCs. Eventually, all NPCs were to have at least three of such vehicles, but the project was met with skepticism by some of the public, stating that the police need not use such "luxurious vehicles" for police patrols. In 2004, the new Fast Response Vehicle (FRV) was introduced, consisting of cheaper modified Toyota Hi-Lux sport utility vehicles. These vehicles utilise diesel-power which provide greater ability to endure high usage on the roads over extensive periods of time. Their bigger storage space also allows for easier storage and retrieval of equipment.
Other vehicles typically used in NPCs include the scooters and vans. Bicycles, although currently less seen, are still used by land division officers occasionally, particularly when conducting routine patrols in large, sprawling private housing estates. At NDP 2007, the Singapore Police Force unveiled a Tenix S600 APC (Armored Personnel Carrier) had been purchased for its operations for the Special Operations Command.
For weaponry, equipment and vehicles of the various specialist forces, please see their respective pages for details.
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