Press Releases

Overview of Safety and Security Situation in 2021

Published: 08 February 2022

Our Streets Remain Safe

1.    The Home Team has worked hard on its mission. Our streets remain safe.

Key Improvements

2.    The two-year recidivism rate among ex-offenders remains low, and on a downward trend.

3.    The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) saw decreases in the number of fire calls, fires in residential premises, as well as fires involving power-assisted bicycles and personal mobility devices. There was an encouraging increase in responses by Community First Responders and SGSecure Responders to cardiac arrest and minor fire incidents.

4.    We saw decreases in the number of immigration offenders, and harbourers and employers of immigration offenders, arrested in 2021.

5.    We also saw a significant decrease in housebreaking and related crimes, as well as theft and related crimes, continuing the downward trend over the years.

Global Drug Situation Remains Challenging

6.    COVID-19 has impacted global drug markets. There have been changes in trafficking patterns, including larger shipment sizes, use of commercial courier/mail services to deliver drugs, and use of social media and encrypted messaging apps to buy and sell drugs.

7.    In our region, we see a trend of increased trafficking of methamphetamine, which is of especial concern as it has been the most commonly-abused drug in Singapore since 2015.

8.    While there was a decrease in the number of drug abusers arrested, the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) continued to make large drug seizures.

9.    Young abusers (below 30 years old) continue to form a large proportion of new abusers arrested in 2021.

Other Trends of Concern

10.   Scams in the digital space are rising sharply, as scammers continue to evolve their tactics, and Singaporeans carry out more activities and transactions online. Job scams, e-commerce scams, investment scams and phishing scams, remain of particular concern. Job scams were the top scam type, while banking-related phishing scams saw a significant increase in the number of cases and amount cheated.

11.   Sexual offences, such as outrage of modesty and voyeurism, also remain a concern. Of note, the majority of outrage of modesty and voyeurism cases involved a perpetrator known to the victim.

12.   We are concerned about increases in traffic accidents resulting in fatalities or injuries, accidents involving motorcyclists and cyclists, as well as drink-driving, red-light running, and speeding-related accidents. This could be due to the resumption of more activities in 2021 than in 2020. Motorcyclists and elderly pedestrians continue to account for a disproportionate number of traffic accidents resulting in injuries or death, even though there has been a decrease in the total number of traffic accidents involving elderly pedestrians, likely due to the COVID-19 pandemic measures.

13.   SCDF saw an increase in the number of ambulance calls in 2021. The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) saw an increase in contraband smuggling via airfreight and parcels, consistent with the boom in e-commerce.

SGSecure Movement Sustains Momentum

14.   Despite the COVID-19 restrictions on large-group gatherings and events, the SGSecure movement has managed to sustain momentum by using online platforms for outreach and training. These programmes were to equip residents with emergency preparedness skills, educate on issues of terrorism, extremism, and radicalisation, as well as facilitate inter-faith activities. More than 500,000 residents were engaged on emergency preparedness skills through these sessions, while 5,000 participated in inter-faith activities. 

15.   The scope of the SGSecure Responders’ Network (SRN) was recently broadened to encourage Responders to report suspicious items and behaviours, including suspected cases of radicalisation, through the SGSecure app, and share news from credible or official sources with their own networks, to counter the spread of misinformation during a crisis. The aim is to encourage more members of the public to join the SRN and contribute to the fight against the terrorism threat. There are now more than 100,000 Responders in the community. 

The Home Team’s Continued Contribution to the National COVID-19 Response

16.   On top of their regular duties, Home Team officers have been contributing to the nation’s fight against COVID-19.

17.   SCDF continues to convey suspected and positive COVID-19 cases to hospitals, and also attached officers to the Ministry of Health (MOH) to help in COVID-19 operations.

18.   CNB officers were also attached to MOH, to support the Quarantine Operations Task Group in managing individuals on Quarantine Order and Isolation Order. CNB officers also helped investigate offences under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020.

19.   The SafeTravel Office under ICA has been supporting the gradual and safe reopening of Singapore’s borders by providing travellers with a single touchpoint, and coordinating across multiple agencies on the various travel schemes/lanes. This has contributed towards an easier and smoother traveller experience. In addition, ICA conducted Stay-Home Notice (SHN) visits and surveillance calls, and rolled out electronic tamper-proof wristbands for more efficient and effective surveillance under the SHN regime. ICA officers also investigated and prosecuted individuals who committed SHN-related offences under the Infectious Diseases Act.

20.   Officers from the Singapore Police Force (SPF) continued to contribute to the fight against COVID-19 through ground patrols, enforcement, and contact tracing.

21.   Singapore Prison Service officers safeguarded the health and safety of inmates and staff through cohort segregation for new admissions, telemedicine to reduce external movements to the hospital, and virtual court hearings.

22.   The Home Team will continue to support the national fight against COVID-19, even as we keep Singapore safe and secure.