Asian Prisons Lockdown Challenge 2023
Singapore, 23 August 2023 – After a hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Asian Prisons Lockdown Challenge (APLC) is back this year. The APLC is a biennial event organised by the Singapore Prison Service’s (SPS) elite Singapore Prisons Emergency Action Response (SPEAR) Force since 2010. The event was last held in 2018. The sixth edition will be held between 21 and 25 August 2023.
APLC is a tactical, skills-based competition where specialist teams from various correctional agencies in the Asia-Pacific region compete and benchmark their tactical capabilities against each other. Designed to challenge and stretch the teams, one of the competition elements in the APLC is “Mayhem in the Yard”, where each team will face a riot scenario in the yard to which they will need to respond, contain and quell.
APLC continues to generate strong interest among correctional services in the Asia-Pacific region. Regular participants from Hong Kong, Malaysia, Macau, Brunei, Thailand and South Korea will be joined by first-time participants from Australia (New South Wales). A total of 9 teams (including two teams from SPS) comprising more than 60 participants will be competing for top honours. Japan and Cambodia will be attending APLC as observers.
This year, SPS has incorporated the use of Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGV) in the “Search and Rescue” event. Known as “Robomaster”, it allows officers to conduct remote appreciation of the situation in a cell where the CCTV has been destroyed, and then formulate a de-escalation and intervention plan.
Beyond the competition, APLC 2023 facilitates knowledge sharing and networking amongst the officers from the 10 participating jurisdictions. This is done through tactical displays by the various correctional specialist teams and tactical workshops held during the event.
In recognition of the growing importance of mental health for officers involved in high-risk tactical operations, SPS’s Operational Psychology Branch will be conducting a sharing session to raise awareness on the heightened levels of stress possibly faced by tactical officers during missions and their training, and strategies to support and maintain their mental well-being.
Tactical Sharing & Achievements
Earlier this year, SPS participated in the European Symposium on Non-Lethal Weapons, which was held at the Royal Military Academy in Belgium. Among the 27 academics, practitioners and researchers who presented their work, SPS clinched the ‘Best Presentation Award’ for their presentation on the “Evaluation of Lemon Grass irritants as an alternative to Oleoresin Capsicum irritants”. SPS also took part in the Mock Prison Riot 2023 competition, which was held in West Virginia, USA. Competing with 16 other teams from different jurisdictions, SPS emerged as 1st Runner Up.
Commissioner of Prisons, Ms Shie Yong Lee, said, “SPS is pleased to organise the APLC again. In the pursuit of knowledge and continuous improvement, APLC stands tall as a platform for correctional agencies to come together and share their invaluable tactical knowledge and experiences. APLC is not just a competition but a collective endeavour to enhance tactical capabilities, through mutual learning and knowledge exchange.”