Press Releases

Overview of Safety and Security Situation in 2023

Published: 13 February 2024

Singapore Remained Safe and Secure in 2023

1. The Home Team remained steadfast and worked hard to deliver on its mission to keep Singapore safe and secure in 2023. In the World Justice Project Rule of Law Index 2023, Singapore was ranked one of the top three countries in Order and Security, the seventh time in a row.  

Key Improvements

2. There was a slight decrease in the number of physical crime cases reported.  Nonetheless, shop theft, theft in dwelling, outrage of modesty, and voyeurism remain of concern.
3. There was a slight decrease in the number of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) calls in 2023, though the number is expected to trend upwards in the longer term, due to the rising demand from Singapores ageing population. To optimise emergency medical resources and ensure swifter response to emergencies which are life-threatening, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) has, since 2017, been implementing the EMS Tiered Response Framework in phases, to prioritise its response to cases based on severity. The public should call 995 only for emergencies.

4. The Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) saw a significant increase in traveller volume in 2023, which almost doubled as compared to 2022, but continued to keep our borders secure. The volume of containers, consignments and parcels, as well as low-value goods cleared at the checkpoints, remained high. 

5. The two-year recidivism rate remains low, and continues to be one of the lowest globally, though there was a slight increase from 2022.

6. What was even more encouraging was that the 5-year recidivism rate for the Release Cohort 2018 fell to 36.8%, the lowest ever.  Hitherto, it has always been about 40%. In other words, there has been improvement in the longer-term desistance of ex-offenders. This is likely the result of the strong pro-social support they receive when back in the community. The Singapore Prison Service (SPS) and Yellow Ribbon Singapore (YRSG) will continue to work with the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB), other Government agencies, community partners, employers, and families, to ensure an effective and sustainable ecosystem of support in the community to tackle recidivism, including drug abuse recidivism. 

7. Stable employment is also important for the successful reintegration of ex-offenders. YRSG has been investing in outreach efforts to encourage employers to hire ex-offenders. The number of employers who support hiring of ex-offenders has increased from 6,265 in 2022 to 6,516 in 2023.

Challenging Global Drug Situation

8. The global drug landscape is getting worse. More drugs are being produced. Drug traffickers are well organised, and asserting themselves brazenly and violently in some countries. More countries are choosing to liberalise drug use because of intense lobbying and marketing by drug producers, especially cannabis, fuelling demand.

9. The influence of such increasingly permissive attitudes on young Singaporeans, bolstered by misinformation about the harms of drugs, and Singapores place at the doorstep of the worlds largest drug producing region, render us particularly vulnerable. We saw an increase in the number of drug abusers arrested in 2023, driven by an increase in new drug abusers. More than half of young drug abusers, those under 30 years old, were new abusers.

10. CNB will continue to put in significant effort and resources to take down drug syndicates, including those trafficking through encrypted messaging platforms. In 2023, CNB dismantled 25 drug syndicates. 

Other Trends of Concern

11. Scams continued to be a concern in 2023. The number of scams cases reported continued to increase.  However, the amount lost decreased from 2022, though it remains very large. The top scam types in 2023 were job scams, e-commerce scams, fake friend call scams, phishing scams, and investment scams. Malware-enabled scams also emerged as a concern in 2023. The Singapore Police Force will continue to work with other Government agencies and community partners to engage and educate the public on scams, to build up their vigilance and resilience.

12. The increase in traffic accidents resulting in fatalities and injuries is also a concern. The total number of accidents involving motorcyclists and elderly pedestrians also increased from 2022, and these two groups of road users continued to account for a disproportionate number of traffic accidents and fatalities. The Traffic Police will continue its tough enforcement stance against irresponsible road users, as well as its public education efforts.

13. There was an increase in the overall number of fires, including residential fires, and fires at non-building places, such as vehicle fires and fires involving discarded items. On the other hand, there was a decrease in fires at non-residential premises, such as commercial and industrial premises. The SCDF will continue to work with the National Fire and Emergency Preparedness Council to promote fire prevention efforts through community engagement events such as the Community Resilience Day and SGSecure Roadshows. Active Mobility Device (AMD) fires remains a fire safety concern, especially in residential premises. SCDF will continue to disseminate fire safety advisories on AMD fires and has also been supporting the Be Device-Safe Roadshows organised by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to increase awareness on the dangers of AMD fires and to reiterate the importance of using AMDs which are compliant with the regulations.

14. ICA saw an increase in the number of immigration offenders in 2023 compared to 2022, due to more overstayers arrested, though this number is still relatively low compared to pre-COVID years. The increase was likely due to the easing of travel restrictions, as well as an increase in ICAs inland enforcement efforts. There was also an increase in the number of harbourers and employers of immigration offenders arrested.  

New Phase of SGSecure Movement

15. The SGSecure movement entered its latest phase in 2023, with a focus on urging Singaporeans to deepen social cohesion and to play an active part in safeguarding our society from terrorism and extremism. The new tagline, Whats Your Role?, was launched at the SGSecure Community Conference in July 2023.

16. Working with Cluster Leads, the SGSecure movement has made good progress in sensitising, training, and mobilising our community to help prevent and respond to a terrorist attack1

(a) Since 2016, we have reached out to close to more than 600,000 households to teach them to protect themselves and their families, and to recognise and report suspicious behaviours or items.

(b) The SGSecure Responders Network plays an important role in keeping Singapore safe by encouraging Responders to report suspicious behaviours and items, provide timely response to nearby cases of cardiac arrest and minor fires, and/or share news from credible or official sources to mitigate misinformation during crises. There are now over 160,000 Responders in the community. 

(c) SGSecure Responders and SCDFs Community First Responders responded to more cases in 2023, and there was a higher number of new Responder sign-ups.  This is encouraging, as the community can make a big difference to lives and properties by responding to emergencies near them, ahead of the SCDFs arrival. 

(d) The Community Response Roundtables (CRRTs) aim to strengthen cooperation across stakeholder groups within a geographical area, to enhance local community-level emergency preparedness and response. The CRRTs bring together representatives from across various domains - schools, businesses, grassroots, religious, and other community groups. 30 CRRTs have been formed thus far.

17. We will continue building on this momentum to sustain awareness, enhance the level of emergency preparedness in the community, and inspire more people to play a role in keeping Singapore safe and secure.

[1] The SGSecure Cluster Leads are MCCY, MCI, MINDEF, MOE, MOM, and PA - they oversee six domains namely: Community Groups (MCCY); the Media (MCI); the NS Community (MINDEF); Schools (MOE); Workplaces (MOM); and Neighbourhoods (PA).


1. Following the release of this Overview, the various Home Team Departments will be releasing their annual statistics from 13 to 21 February 2024.