15 Oct 2019

Opening Address at the Smart Clubbing Campaign (2nd Iteration) Launch - Speech by Mr Amrin Amin, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Health

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

Welcome

 

1.           Good evening. It is my pleasure to join you for the second iteration of the Smart Clubbing Campaign.

 

2.            I am heartened to see the major stakeholders from the public entertainment industry gathering here today to pledge their support to make the clubbing scene a safer one.      

 

Recap on last inaugural Smart Clubbing Campaign

 

3.            The Police, in partnership with the National Crime Prevention Council, launched the inaugural Smart Clubbing Campaign last year to tackle the increase in crimes such as Outrage of Modesty, theft and violent crimes happening at public entertainment (PE) nightspots.

 

4.            The focus was on how party-goers, as individuals, can take basic precautions to prevent themselves from becoming victims of crimes while partying.

 

5.            Based on a period-to-period comparison for the first 8 months of 2018 and 2019, the Police have seen:

 

·         A drop of 17% in the number of reported Outrage of Modesty cases in PE nightspots;

 

·         A drop of 26% in the number of theft cases in PE night spots. This is an encouraging sign.

 

6.            However, we should not rest on our laurels in our fight against crimes happening at PE nightspots.

 

7.            Rioting, affray and serious hurt have increased by about 55%, from 36 to 56 cases.

 

8.            This is about one case every week. Clearly, there is scope for us to work together to do more. 

 

Partnership with the Industry and PE nightspots

 

9.            This year, the focus for Police and NCPC is to work together with the public entertainment industry to promote a safer and more secure clubbing environment for party-goers.

 

10.          This is not limited to preventing crime, but  also to enhance the PE nightspots’ security processes to counter the continued threat of terrorism.

 

11.         The regional terrorist threat remains high. Terrorist attacks have evolved over the years and such attacks can happen anywhere. Crowded places are attractive targets for terrorists with the aim of maximizing damage.

 

12.         Take for instance, the 2017 Manchester attack during Ariana Grande’s concert where a suicide bomber detonated a powerful home-made explosive that left many concert-goers injured and 22 killed.

 

13.         In another incident in London in 2017, the attack took the form of a stabbing rampage where terrorists attacked people in Borough Market area, killing eight and injuring many others before they were taken down by the police.

 

Formation of PE iSSWG

 

14.         Crime and terrorism are multi-faceted, and cannot be contained by Police efforts alone. The Police have thus partnered with public entertainment stakeholders like yourselves, to form the Public Entertainment Industry Safety and Security Watch Group or PE iSSWG, in short.

 

15.         The PE iSSWG aims to strengthen the ties between the Police and public entertainment industry stakeholders in a sustainable way, and work closely together to implement crime prevention and counter terrorism measures.

 

16.         There are two key thrusts to the formation of the PE iSSWG.

 

·         First, to promote a two-way information sharing model in response to evolving crimes and terror threats. The Police and public entertainment industry can share information on island-wide PE nightspot related crimes, or on potential security threats, and also work together to address any challenges they may face in implementing security measures.

 

·         Second, to promote the formation of support networks for PE nightspots located in close proximity to each other. Participating PE nightspots in the corresponding closely knitted clusters can be additional eyes and ears for each other, and help to look out for one another. For example, if there are potential troublemakers or suspicious characters in the vicinity, such information can be quickly shared with each other and Police can be alerted early, to keep the patrons safe.

 

Community Partnership Awards

 

17.         Today, we will be giving out Community Partnership Awards to 21 PE nightspots and 4 associated partners who have pledged their commitment in this PE iSSWG set-up.

 

18.         I would like to highlight a few examples to illustrate how the award recipients have been supporting and taking charge of their own security.

 

·         Singapore River One or SRO in short, is the Place Manager of the Singapore River Precinct, which includes Boat Quay, Clarke Quay and Robertson Quay. SRO has assisted to bring the Police closer to the business operators in the precinct. This allows  faster sharing of information on crime trends related to any PE nightspots. They took the initiative to meet up with the outlet operators to discuss innovative measures to combat crimes. A dedicated Whatsapp chat group with the PE outlets has also been established by SRO to share information on safety and security matters.

 

·         Bar Rouge, the host partner for today’s event, is an advocate for responsible drinking and has put in place a policy for staff not to serve alcoholic drinks to highly-intoxicated patrons. Bar Rouge also deploys dedicated security staff within the club premises to proactively look out for crime and patrons in need of assistance, and to intervene if necessary. 

 

·         Other PE nightspots, such as Zouk and Bang Bang, have set up holding areas within their premises for highly-intoxicated patrons to rest and sober up. For their patrons’ safety, these PE nightspots help ensure that they are not left alone on the street in an intoxicated state.

 

19.         I believe these measures benefit not only the patrons, but also enhance the image, reputation and business of the local nightlife industry.   

 

20.         I hope these best practices will gradually be adopted by all PE nightspots in time to come.

 

Conclusion

 

21.         To conclude, I encourage the newly formed PE iSSWG to share best practices in crime prevention and counter terrorism, so as to make the clubbing scene not only a safer and more secure one, but also more vibrant . 

 

22.           Thank you. 

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