Standing strong in the fight against terrorism and drugs

Terrorism and drugs remain threats despite lowest crime rates in three years.

03 Mar 2017

Amidst the lowest crime rate in three years and high confidence in the Singapore Police Force (SPF), Singaporeans must remain vigilant against the threat of terrorism and drugs.

Counter-Terrorism Efforts

Terrorism remains a constant threat with the shadow of ISIS, foreign terrorist fighters and self-radicalisation looming over Singapore.

The Home Team has taken significant steps to bolster its abilities to counter the terror threat. The Police Emergency Response Teams were launched and major public counter-terrorism exercises were held in 2016.

Moving forward, the SPF will enhance its camera coverage with an additional 11,000 cameras at 2,500 locations island-wide. The SPF will also enhance its video analytics capabilities from 2018 onwards. This will allow the SPF to form a more comprehensive intelligence picture and act quickly and effectively to neutralise a threat.

Frontline officers in SPF will also be equipped with pistols, instead of revolvers. Pistols will allow police officers to carry three times more ammunition and strengthen their ability to engage attackers during firefights.

The Government is also partnering the community in its counter-terrorism efforts through SGSecure. The “SGSecure in the Neighbourhood” programme will equip residents with the necessary skills to help prevent and deal with terrorist attacks. The Emergency Preparedness (EP) Day will be revamped to include live exercises to sensitise the public to attacks and train their responses. This will be rolled out to all 89 constituencies over the next two years.

Outreach efforts will also be expanded to businesses and other government agencies in 2017. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) will train public officers in SGSecure skills, and work with the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) to engage businesses and unions. SGSecure will also hold briefings and conferences, customised emergency preparedness days, and counter-terrorism seminars for the security, manufacturing and hospitality sectors.

Standing strong in the fight against terrorism

To build resilience within the community, psychologists from the Home Team, the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), and the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) will work with the People’s Association (PA) to support and train grassroots leaders in providing psychological first aid to residents affected by an attack. This will allow Singapore to better deter and recover from an attack.

The Government will also pilot the Crisis Response Exercise (CRX). This exercise will bring together different stakeholders within a constituency and train them to manage potential communal tensions and restore social cohesion after an attack.

Tough Stance against Drugs

While the drug situation remains under control, there are areas of concern – almost two-thirds of new drug abusers in Singapore are under 30, and there are also cases of students abusing drugs.

The Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) will better engage youths by increasing its social media presence and piloting a new initiative to establish positive influencers in youth peer circles.

Students from the Institute of Technical Education (ITEs), polytechnics, and universities that have signed up for the Anti-Drug Advocate (ADA) Programme will have the opportunity to learn about Singapore’s drug policies and the harmful effects of drugs through visits to Halfway Houses and Drug Rehabilitation Centres (DRCs). Their experiences will encourage them to spread the anti-drug messages to their peers.

Keeping Singapore drug-free together

The Government also hopes to reduce the recidivism rates by ensuring that drug offenders are able to be re-integrated back into society.

Training programmes that are aligned with the Workforce Skills Qualification (WSQ) framework are currently conducted for inmates by the Singapore Prison Service (SPS) and the Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises (SCORE).

In 2017, SCORE will introduce WSQ Advanced Training for inmates. These courses will help inmates pursue a WSQ Diploma upon their release, and help them remain competitive when they join the workforce.