Published: 03 March 2017
Mr Melvin Yong Yik Chye: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs in light of recent terrorist attacks whereby rental vehicles have been used, whether the Ministry will consider (i) tightening checks on the identity of persons renting vehicles (ii) establishing information-sharing with vehicle rental companies and (iii) educating employees of vehicle rental companies on identifying suspicious persons renting vehicles so as to minimise the risk of potential terrorist attacks in Singapore.
1. Countering vehicular terrorist attacks is a challenge that security agencies around the world have to plan for.
2. MHA is working to enhance timely information sharing between private hire car owners such as vehicle rental companies and the Police, including information on the identity of persons renting vehicles.
3. However, checks on the identity alone will not prevent vehicles from being used for criminal purposes, or in terrorist attacks. For example, an unattended vehicle could be stolen and used by persons with ill-intent. The perpetrator can also ask someone else to rent a vehicle. As such, drivers, especially heavy vehicle drivers, and members of the public will also need to be vigilant against such a threat.
4. Police have engaged the Vehicle Rental Association of Singapore (VRAS) on these risks, and will continue to reach out to more vehicle rental companies and heavy vehicle companies under the SGSecure movement. Police will share useful tips and lessons with these companies and their staff on how to prevent their vehicles from being used to commit crime or acts of terror. These include, to:
• Secure the premises where vehicles are stored to prevent unauthorised entry, through measures such as perimeter fencing.
• Remind drivers that they should never leave their vehicles, together with their keys, unattended.
• Notify the Police immediately if they notice anything suspicious about the drivers, or if vehicles are missing or stolen.