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Our Year in Review (Part 1)
Keeping Singapore safe and secure in 2020.

Home Team News Our Year in Review 2020 Part 1 01
PHOTO: Fazlee Rosli

It’s been another busy and fulfilling year for our Home Team Guardians. From supporting our national COVID-19 efforts to fighting crime, combating the threat of drugs and helping ex-offenders change their lives for the better, here are some of the Home Team’s key moments in 2020.

When COVID-19 struck in early 2020, our officers sprang into action as One Home Team to support Singapore’s national efforts against COVID-19. 

Home Team News Our Year in Review 2020 Part 1 02
PHOTOS: SPF, HTMSD, Home Team News

Here are just some of the vital work that our officers were involved in: WOG policy, planning and response / Medical policy and operations / PPE management and distribution / Enhanced border controls / COVID-19 test kits / Contact tracing operations / Enforcement of Stay-Home Notice and Leave-of-Absence orders / Dormitory operations / S&T support / Quarantine facilities / Emergency medical services / Temperature screenings / Transportation of COVID-19 patients / Cohort segregation and medical support in Prisons
>> Check out our coverage of how Home Team officers have supported COVID-19 operations

Home Team News Our Year in Review 2020 Part 1 03

Dormitory Operations The Home Team Academy was one of the first public agencies to operate a Government Quarantine Facility, a Dormitory Isolation Facility and alternative housing for relocated migrant workers concurrently at its dormitories, in support of WOG efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. 

Our Home Team Guardians worked hard to review, design and implement policies and laws that keep Singapore safe and secure. 

Home Team News Our Year in Review 2020 Part 1 04
PHOTO: Home Team News

Commencement of the Women’s Charter (Amendment) Act (August 2020) Passed in November 2019, this Act strengthens the laws against online vice and enhances SPF’s levers against vice syndicates. These changes will help to stem vice in the heartlands.

Commencement of the Fire Safety (Amendment) Act (September 2020) Passed in August 2019, this Act enhances the fire safety of buildings by strengthening SCDF’s regulatory and enforcement powers, optimising SCDF’s resources to focus on higher-risk areas and clarifying regulatory processes and requirements.

First Reading of the Guns, Explosives and Weapons Control Bill (November 2020) This Bill strengthens the regulatory regime to minimise the safety and security risks posed by guns, explosives and weapons. It will also establish a calibrated regulatory and enforcement framework for these items.

Ministerial Statement on the Review of the Case of Parti Liyani V Public Prosecutor (November 2020) Minister K Shanmugam delivered a Ministerial Statement on the case that made these key points: 
• There were good reasons to investigate and prosecute Ms Liyani.
• SPF and AGC were not influenced by anyone. 
• The Government is committed to upholding the rule of law. 
>> Read key excerpts of the Ministerial Statement 
>> Watch video excerpts of the Ministerial Statement

In 2020, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) commemorated its 200th anniversary. From its humble beginning as a 12-man team in 1820, SPF has grown from strength to strength, in tandem with Singapore’s progress as a nation. Today, SPF comprises 15,000 regular officers, civilian staff and Full-time Police National Servicemen, augmented by volunteer police officers and Operationally Ready Police National Servicemen.

Home Team News Our Year in Review 2020 Part 1 05B

Safest City Singapore was ranked first on Gallup’s 2020 Global Law and Order Report, which found that 97 percent of Singaporeans feel safe walking alone at night in their area, compared with the global average of 69 percent.

In April 2020, the Ministry of Home Affairs announced the planned establishment of the Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA). Come 2021, MHA will expand the mandate of the Casino Regulatory Authority (CRA) to form GRA as a reconstituted Statutory Board. 

The formation of GRA will consolidate and optimise gambling regulatory resources within a single agency, allowing it to respond faster to technological developments and emerging products which cut across different domains, and undertake a more holistic approach to gambling policies and issues.

Home Team News Our Year in Review 2020 Part 1 06

Going Virtual Adapting swiftly in response to COVID-19 guidelines, CRA made a leap of faith in April 2020 to organise a first-of-its-kind virtual Workplan Seminar themed “Transform. Engage. Innovate.” Through presentations and a Q&A segment on Workplace Live, CRA officers engaged senior management on process, workforce and digital transformation plans for CRA.

In May 2020, the Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises was renamed Yellow Ribbon Singapore (YRSG). The name “Yellow Ribbon” was chosen because of its strong link to the concept of offering second chances to reformed ex-offenders. The changes reflect the organisation’s hard work over the decades to provide support to ex-offenders and their families. It also empowers YRSG to grow beyond its original mission to promoting lifelong learning and skills deepening, creating long-term career development and mobility as well as expanding community support.

Home Team News Our Year in Review 2020 Part 1 07

TAP and Grow As part of its Transformation efforts, YRSG piloted its TAP (Train, Attach and Place) and Grow initiative to partner like-minded employers, trade associations, training institutions and community partners to establish training academies inside our prisons. This allows inmates to undergo industry-specific training and secure jobs in the relevant sectors after their release. At present, YRSG has signed MOUs with two partner-organisations – the Singapore Precision Engineering and Technology Association (SPETA) and Mediacorp.

Home Team News Our Year in Review 2020 Part 1 09

Giving Back to Society YRSG’s slogan “Beyond Second Chances” seeks to galvanise community acceptance to unlock the second social prison. Once ex-offenders are successfully reintegrated, they can pay it forward and give back to the community. Joining the fight against COVID-19, YRSG rallied inmates and ex-offenders to stand together with Singaporeans. Many inmates and ex-offenders chose to look beyond themselves by baking cookies for COVID-19 frontliners, refurbishing blankets for patients at community care facilities at the Singapore EXPO, and sewing masks and mask pouches for foreign workers, the elderly and those in need.
>> Beyond Second Chances: From SCORE to YRSG 

In September 2020, amendments were made to the First Schedule of the Misuse of Drugs Act to strengthen the enforcement powers of the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) in taking decisive action against the abuse and trafficking of an even wider range of New Psychoactive Substances and newer, synthesised drugs. 

Home Team News Our Year in Review 2020 Part 1 10

CNB on the Move In October 2020, a 28-year-old woman was convicted for letting individuals under 21 years of age consume drugs. She was the first offender to be convicted for this crime after the second tranche of provisions under the Misuse of Drugs Act (which aims to better protect children and younger persons from the harms of drugs) took effect in August 2019.

In November 2020, CNB officers also seized over 14kg of heroin and arrested five suspected drug offenders in an operation that took place in multiple locations in Singapore. The drugs were estimated to be worth close to $2 million.

Home Team News Our Year in Review 2020 Part 1 11

Community Support In October 2020, CNB’s Community Engagement Unit attained the Citizen Engagement Excellence Award at the Public Sector Transformation Awards 2020 for the Dadah Itu Haram campaign. 

Launched in April 2017, Dadah Itu Haram is a ground-up, community-focused initiative that supports anti-drug efforts within the Malay-Muslim community. The Citizen Engagement Excellence Award recognised Dadah Itu Haram for going the extra mile to understand and engage citizens and businesses, and for having enhanced anti-drug partnerships within the community.
>> Together as One: Engaging Hearts and Minds the DIH Way

Our Zero-Tolerance Approach Towards Drugs In December 2020, following a recommendation from the World Health Organization (WHO), member states of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs voted by the narrowest of margins to remove cannabis and cannabis resin from Schedule IV of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. The decision will not impact Singapore’s zero-tolerance stance against drugs, as the voting outcome was not an endorsement of “medical” cannabis or the legalisation of recreational cannabis; and the international control measures for cannabis and cannabis resin remain unchanged as they continue to be listed on Schedule I of the 1961 Convention.
>> Read Singapore’s National Statement
>> Read the Singapore Government’s position on the recommendations of the WHO

© 2019 Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. All Rights Reserved.

  1. by Desmond Ang and Ashley Tuen
  2. 20 January 2021
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