Published: 11 January 2022
Mr Christopher de Souza: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs what is being done to raise awareness of outrage-of-modesty cases on public transport and to alert commuters on how to protect themselves.
Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law:
1. To raise awareness of cases of Outrage of Modesty (OM) on public transport, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) works closely with public transport operators and partners such as the National Crime Prevention Council, to reach out to public transport commuters. These efforts educate members of the public on what they can do when they encounter such crimes, remind them to stay vigilant when on public transport, and encourage them to report the matter to the Police if they encounter anything suspicious.
2. For example, posters on OM are prominently displayed on MRT lines, bus interchanges and bus shelters. Public education videos on OM are also screened at MRT stations. Since September 2021, advisories on OM have been distributed to more than 700,000 commuters through various platforms, including online ones such as the LTA MyTransport, SMRTConnect and SBS Transit mobile applications.
3. The Public Transport Security Command also launched the Riders-on-Watch (ROW) scheme in July 2019, which has been incorporated under the Community Watch Scheme (CWS) launched recently on 11 December 2021. ROW taps on commuters to act as additional ‘eyes and ears’ on public transport for the Police, with ROW volunteers keeping watch for suspicious persons or activities, and providing valuable information to the Police when needed. These volunteers also receive regular advisories on crimes affecting the public transport system.
4. The Police adopts a tough enforcement approach towards OM cases on public transport, and will continue to work closely with the community and key stakeholders to improve the safety and security of all commuters. We urge all victims of OM on public transport to make a Police report as soon as possible, as reporting the crime early is crucial to help the Police identify and arrest the perpetrator.