Prior to 1979, public complaints against Police officers for misconduct were investigated by the unit the affected officer belonged to. Thereafter, the investigations into such complaints were centralised and managed by the then-Internal Investigations Section. In 1997 the Internal Investigations Section was reorganised and renamed as the Internal Investigation Division which operated within the Service Development and Inspectorate Department of the Singapore Police Force. On 15 August 2011, the Internal Investigation Division is reorganised to form an independent investigation entity called the Internal Affairs Office (IAO). IAO is headed by a Director with 2 Special Investigation Teams and an Internal Prosecution Office. The 2 Special Investigation Teams which consist of Senior Officers as investigators. In addition to the type of cases currently handled by then Internal Investigation Division, the IAO will also investigate into all disciplinary offences and crimes committed by officers under the colour of office.
This re-organisation will ensure that internal investigations are thoroughly, speedily and independently conducted, with the view to exonerate innocent officers quickly and prosecute the guilty swiftly. As an independent Office, IAO will centrally manage investigation into serious disciplinary and criminal cases committed under colour of office involving SPF officers. Besides ensuring high investigation standards and consistencies, IAO will also proactively explore ways to address rising trends in certain types of criminal or disciplinary offences so that SPF can proactively engage the right target group to arrest such trends. The setting up of IAO clearly demonstrates SPF ’s commitment in upholding the police values and maintaining public trust in the SPF.
The mission of the Internal Affairs Office is to uphold Police values and maintain public trust through independent investigation into complaints and offences involving SPF’s officers.
Roles and Responsibilities
IAO’s roles and responsibilities include the following:
- Central management of the investigation into serious disciplinary and criminal cases;
- Ensure high investigation standards;
- Support Manpower Department to identify disciplinary trends;
- Develop and share case studies;
- Identification of trends of misconducts/ crimes for follow-up.