Published: 05 August 2019
Mr Christopher de Souza: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs whether increased law enforcement operations will be undertaken at Orchard Towers so as to reduce or deter any illegal or vice activities there, or around its vicinity.
Mr Melvin Yong Yik Chye: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) in the past three years, how many police reports have been made on crime and vice activities at Orchard Towers; (b) what enforcement actions have been taken by the police; and (c) what plans does the police have to eradicate crime and vice activities at Orchard Towers.
Mr Melvin Yong Yik Chye: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) what is the current number of massage establishments in Orchard Towers; (b) whether the number of licensed and unlicensed massage establishments has increased or decreased in the past three years; and (c) whether there are plans to limit the number of licences issued for massage establishments located within one mixed property development.
1. Mr Speaker, I will respond to the questions raised by Mr de Souza and Mr Melvin Yong collectively.
2. There are currently 3 licensed massage establishments in Orchard Towers. This number has decreased in the past three years, as Police have actively managed the licences they grant, to take into consideration URA’s planning intent, feedback from the community, and the prevailing law and order situation.
3. Police have been taking enforcement action against unlicensed massage establishments at Orchard Towers, and the number has remained stable over the past 3 years. In 2018, Police detected 7 such establishments, which have since been shut down. 5 operators have been dealt with, of which 4 were fined, and 1 was issued a stern warning. Investigations against the remaining 2 are ongoing. Police will continue its enforcement efforts in this area.
Police’s Enforcement Efforts
4. Police have deployed more resources there, including Special Operations Command troops. This enhanced presence is supplemented with an increased deployment of CCTV cameras to deter streetwalking and other illegal activities.
5. They have also maintained a strong tempo of enforcement operations. In 2018, 18 anti-vice operations were conducted at Orchard Towers and its vicinity, resulting in the arrest of 76 vice workers. These operations were on top of Police’s regular checks.
6. Police will continue to keep a close watch on the law and order situation at Orchard Towers, and ensure the safety of the public.