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CRIME PREVENTION THE SINGAPORE APPROACH

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					                          RESOURCE MATERIAL SERIES No. 56

        CRIME PREVENTION-THE SINGAPORE APPROACH

                                        Jarmal Singh*

           I. INTRODUCTION                           pushed by a strong executive and enacted
                                                     by a very responsive legislature; a very
   Singapore, being a city state dependant
                                                     robust and efficient world class court
on trade and with business links to all parts
                                                     system; a police force also aspiring to be
of the world, is a very open country.
                                                     world class in its total policing capabilities,
Further, its strategic location makes it a
                                                     which includes at its bedrock, community
natural hub for airlines and ships. In view
                                                     policing in a strong, symbiotic partnership
of the very many varied cultures and
                                                     with the community it polices, strong
historical attractions in the region
                                                     enforcement by incorruptible officers and
surrounding it, large numbers of tourists
                                                     an austere but humane correctional system
and business travelers pass through it. It
                                                     which aids rehabilitation whenever
is hence open to varied influences, and is
                                                     possible.
also vulnerable to passing crooks who can
easily pass of as locals or tourists.
                                                        The main thrust of the police-community
                                                     partnership is based on mutual help, with
   As most of its occupants are descendents
                                                     the public being persuaded and encouraged
of immigration stock, mainly from the
                                                     to take personal responsibility both
Peninsula Malaysia, the Indonesia
                                                     individually and in partnership with others
archipelago, China, India and Europe, it
                                                     in safeguarding themselves, their property
is heterogeneous. There are hence
                                                     and their neighbourhood with the advice
sensitivities relating to race, religion,
                                                     and assistance of the police. It is based on
language and nationality. These need to
                                                     the principle that prevention is a
be safeguarded against exploitation by
                                                     community responsibility and crime
bigots and anti-national elements.
                                                     prevention measures taken by the
Nevertheless, their common destiny and
                                                     community can limit and reduce
the need to work among and with each
                                                     opportunities for the commission of crime.
other have led to the establishment of a
                                                     Further, the community has a role in
generally similar outlook relating to their
                                                     mitigating the impact of crime on
physical self and property. As all value
                                                     unintended victims, such as the
these rights, crime which attacks these
                                                     dependents of victims, offenders and others
rights is obviously abhorred and is always
                                                     who suffer collateral damage from these
a highly topical subject of concern inspite
                                                     crimes. The community also has a role in
of Singapore having one of the lowest crime
                                                     reintegrating people into society.
rates in the world.
                                                        Since 1988, Singapore has been enjoying
  The low crime rate has been achieved
                                                     a decreasing crime rate for 9 consecutive
by the combination of deterrence,
                                                     years. This would not have been possible
enforcement and rehabilitation under a
                                                     if not for cooperation from the public,
very effective criminal justice system.
                                                     brought about by community-policing.
Deterrence is provided by tough laws,
                                                     About 1/3 of all arrest cases are solved as a
                                                     result of public-spiritedness shown by
* Deputy Director Operations, Police Headquarters,
                                                     members of the public, assisting or giving
  Singapore Police Force, Republic of Singapore.
                                                     vital information leading to the


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                     112TH INTERNATIONAL TRAINING COURSE
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apprehension of the criminal.                      the community. Crime prevention
                                                   education make people aware that:
   In the last two decades, Singapore has
become highly industrialised and                       (i)   They are personally responsible
urbanised. The SPF has become an                             for the safety of their property
organisation fully committed to serving the                  and themselves, and for the
needs of and protecting the people living                    safety of their neighbourhoods.
in Singapore. In response to these changes,            (ii) Many crimes are opportunistic in
the SPF has also undergone a period of                       nature and are committed
transformation in terms of its                               through the negligence and
organisational structure and policing                        carelessness of the victims.
strategies.                                                  Crime is prevented if the
                                                             opportunity is denied or delayed.
   The SPF has moved from reactive                     (iii) They can prevent crimes by
policing to proactive policing based on the                  taking simple and effective
concept of community policing and adapted                    measures on their own or in co-
from the very successful Japanese Koban                      operation with their neighbours.
model. This led to the establishment of 91                   Crime prevention measures must
neighbourhood police posts (NPPs) under                      be commensurate with the threat.
the supervision of 7 land division                           Effective protection will not come
headquarters. The NPPs primary role is                       from any single measure but from
creating a sense of security in the                          the sum total of all practical and
neighbourhood through easily accessible                      possible measures.
counter service, close liaison with the
public, high visibility patrols, house visits      B. Formation of a Crime Prevention
and crime prevention education.                        Branch
                                                      The Crime Prevention Branch of the SPF
     II. CRIME PREVENTION                          was formed in 1977 under the Criminal
   CONCEPTS AND STRUCTURES                         Investigation Department (CID) to cater
                                                   for the needs of a specialised branch
A. Concepts
                                                   devoted exclusively to crime prevention
   Accompanying community policing, is
                                                   activities. The main task of the branch was
the development of a proactive approach
                                                   to inform the public that they have a
to crime prevention. The most strenuous
                                                   significant role to play in safeguarding
efforts by the police alone will not produce
                                                   themselves and their properties against
the desired results if the community stands
                                                   crime. For that purpose, the branch
by passively in the erroneous belief that
                                                   embarked on an extensive programme of
crime is purely a police responsibility. The
                                                   crime prevention activities, which includes
community must accept that the task of
                                                   talks, exhibitions and personal calls to
crime prevention is as much a community
                                                   disseminate advice on measures that could
responsibility as it is a police responsibility,
                                                   be adopted to prevent crime.
and must join hands with the police to
make crime prevention effective. The
                                                      In view of the economic growth and
failure of public involvement in crime
                                                   industrial development in Singapore, the
prevention may be attributed to ignorance.
                                                   branch was expanded to that of a Crime
It is the police responsibility to overcome
                                                   Prevention Division (CPD) in 1981, so as
this ignorance through a sustained
                                                   to provide a more thorough and efficient
programme of education that brings about
                                                   crime prevention programme for the public.
crime prevention awareness throughout


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                        RESOURCE MATERIAL SERIES No. 56

The formation of the CPD signaled the               The NCPC comprises of persons from
beginning of the community-oriented              both the private and public sector.
policing strategy in Singapore. Since its        Members include business and social
inception, the CPD has initiated several         leaders, professionals and police officers.
projects in crime prevention, namely the         It is involved with other organisations and
Neighbourhood Watch Scheme (NWS),                government departments in promoting
Crime Prevention Committees (CPCs),              crime prevention. It works closely with the
Crime Risk Surveys, Operation                    police and organises exhibitions,
Identification, crime prevention                 workshops, courses, contests and talks to
exhibitions, crime prevention campaigns;         involve and educate individuals and
and youth programmes like the Crime              organisations on crime prevention. It also
Proficiency Badge Scheme for uniformed           conducts research into various aspects of
groups like the National Police Cadet            crime prevention. Research is also
Corps, Scouts and Girl Guides etc.               commissioned to measure the effectiveness
                                                 of crime prevention programmes. Various
  The Division was later to work closely         subcommittees are also formed under the
with the National Crime Prevention               NCPC to address problems related to crime
Council (NCPC) which was formed on 4             within various trades and concerns. They
July 1981. The formation of the Council          include:
marked an extremely important event in
the history of crime prevention work and             (i) Hotel Security Committee
development in Singapore.                            (ii) S e c u r i t y a t C o n s t r u c t i o n
                                                           Worksites Committee
C. National Crime Prevention                         (iii) Children & Youth Committee
    Council                                          (iv) Security at Commercial Premises
  The National Crime Prevention Council                    Committee
(NCPC) was set up in 1981 to act as a                (v) Security in Housing Committee
catalyst and partner to mobilise the                 (vi) Focus Group Committee
support of groups and individuals from the
community to work closely with the police              III. CRIME PREVENTION
on crime prevention. It is a non-profit                        SCHEMES
making organisation which depends
                                                 A. Neighbourhood Watch Scheme
entirely on donations to run their activities.
                                                     (NWS)
The NCPC objectives are:
                                                    In 1981, the SPF introduced the
                                                 Neighbourhood Watch Scheme (NWS) to
      (i)   To raise the level of public
                                                 tap on the resources of the community,
            awareness and concern about
                                                 especially the residents of high-rise
            crime;
                                                 apartments, in line with its community,
      (ii) To encourage self-help in crime
                                                 policing concept. The Scheme was
            prevention;
                                                 originally conceived to encourage mutual
      (iii) To study, develop and improve
                                                 care and help among neighbours, through
            crime prevention measures
                                                 residents keeping an eye out for each
            suitable for adoption by the
                                                 other’s premises, and it was hoped that
            public; and
                                                 civic-mindedness, neighbourliness and
      (iv) To co-ordinate the efforts of
                                                 social responsibility in the context of crime
            organisations interested in such
                                                 prevention would be enhanced. This would
            activities.
                                                 contribute to keeping neighbourhoods safe
                                                 from crime.


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   By 1993, the NWS had 10,000 groups of         at-large (through initiatives such as
about 5 households located on the same           problem-solving ), and to the individual
floor of a block of apartments, and led by a     (through house visits ). In order to achieve
group leader. Such a group is called a           this, the following was addressed:
Neighbourhood Watch Group (NWG). The
goals of the NWG are:                                (i)   The need for the aims, structure
                                                           and activities of the revised NWS
    (i)   To encourage residents to keep an                to be congruent with the priorities
          eye for their neighbours’                        of community agencies, thus
          premises, so as to enhance the                   underscoring the relevance of
          physical security of their estate.               community-based cooperation at
    (ii) To disseminate, through the                       the grassroots level.
          NWG leader, awareness of                   (ii) The need to leverage on the
          potential threats to resident’s                  strengths of the existing
          safety in their estate.                          grassroots network such as
    (iii) Instill, through the NWG leader,                 Residents Committees (RCs) /
          an awareness of potential threats                Residents Associations (RAs).
          to residents’ safety in that estate.       (iii) The need for activities under the
                                                           revised NWS to cause individuals
   Despite the large number of NWGs                        to develop a greater sense of
formed, the scheme met with limited                        belonging to and responsible for
success. The activities of the NWGs have                   the neighbourhood they live in.
been minimal or, in some cases, non-
existent. This is due to the following           B. Neighbourhood Watch Zone
factors:                                             (NWZ)
                                                    The new model for the Neighbourhood
    (i)   Lack of leadership by NWG              Watch Scheme envisages a strategic
          leaders;                               partnership between the SPF and
    (ii) Lack of participation by NWG            Residents’ Committee (RC) for Public
          members;                               Housing and Resident’s Association (RA)
    (iii) Limited scope of activity for          for Private Housing (the key community
          NWGs;                                  agency at the grassroots level). The SPF
    (iv) Existence of alternative channels       no longer attempts to build up a network
          of communication.                      of community relationships in isolation.
                                                 Instead, it will work with and through the
   In the light of the above factors, a review   RCs and RAs, in order to achieve the
of the NWS in 1996 was made with a view          objective of the Neighbourhood Watch
to ensuring that it continues to remain          Scheme. This is done primarily through
effective and to complement the work of the      the creation of “Neighbourhood Watch
Residents Committees (RCs), Residents            Zones” in each of the 456 RC and 65 RA
Associations (RAs) and the police. The RCs       Zones. NWZs will form an integral part of
and RAs are grassroots community-based           the RC and RA structure, and will be led
civic organisations that are all over            by the Liaison Officer (LO) of the RC or RA
Singapore. The principal considerations on       Zone, assisted by their Assistance Liaison
the revised NWS form an integral part of         Officers (ALOs). They can be the vehicle
the police’s overall strategy of community       through which the RC’s and RA’s aim of
policing, working in conjunction with            engendering a strong community spirit can
attempts to reach out to the community-          be achieved. Their focus, unlike the NWGs,


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                        RESOURCE MATERIAL SERIES No. 56

is not on crime-related concerns alone, but                leaflets and posters;
on all issues that interest or affect the           (iii) Work jointly with RC and RA
community.                                                 members to discuss and propose
                                                           solutions to crime concerns;
   RCs and RAs have been strengthened               (iv) Seek residents’ feedback on police
as the pre-eminent community                               issues during house visits;
organisations at the precinct level. They           (v) Meet NWZ LOs for information
have the mandate not only to discuss, but                  on RC/RA events;
also to deal with all aspects of concerns that      (vi) Identify RC/RA activities as
have crime or law and order implications.                  platforms to promote crime
Key areas of community concern will be                     prevention awareness;
focused on the RCs and RAs. This gives              (vii) Organise activities at a ‘small
the community an identity to rally to. Since               group’ level to provide
the RCs and RAs have more substantial                      opportunities for NWZ members
areas of focus, the possibility of active and              to meet and get to know each
meaningful participation in RC/RA                          other;
activities by residents will be raised.             (viii) Customise police publications
                                                           with community level messages
   The transformation from Neighbourhood                   for dissemination to residents;
Watch Groups to Neighbourhood Watch                        and
Zones (NWZ) is a move from quantity to              (ix) Work with the community on
quality. With a more manageable number                     crime prevention publications.
of NWZs to work with, NPPs can
concentrate on working more closely with          The role of Liaison Officers (LOs) in
each NWZ, thus strengthening its                 NWZs are as follows:
leadership and administration. A total of
25 NWZs were launched at the pilot phase            (i)     Promote neighbourliness,
in April 1997. To date the SPF has                          harmony and cohesiveness within
established 191 NWZs. A typical NWZ is                      the NWZ;
made up of a Liaison Officer (LO) and is            (ii)    Conduct NWZ programmes to
assisted by Assistant Liaison Officers                      raise the crime prevention
(ALOs). The LOs and ALOs of the NWZ                         awareness of the residents;
work very closely with the NPP officers to          (iii)   Acting through the ALOs,
coordinate crime prevention activities and                  disseminate information to and
programmes to foster community bonding.                     channel feedback from the
They will also disseminate information to                   residents to the neighbourhood
the residents and channel feedback from                     police post/RC/RA.
residents to Resident Committees (RCs)/             (iv)    Coordinate and promote a wide
Resident Associations (RAs) and NPPs.                       range of activities eg, social and
The role of our NPP officers in NWzs are                    cultural, etc, to engender a strong
to work in close partnership with the                       community spirit among
members of RCs/RAs in promoting                             residents and to raise crime
neighbourhood watch. Typically, they will:                  prevention awareness;
                                                    (v)     Attend to neighbourhood and
      (i)  Actively support RC and RA                       community crime prevention
           activities;                                      matters;
      (ii) Disseminate crime prevention             (vi)    Promote and encourage resident
           information through house visits,                participation in crime awareness


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                       112TH INTERNATIONAL TRAINING COURSE
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           programmes;                                      V. CRIME PREVENTION FOR THE
    (vii) Mobilise community resources to                          GENERAL PUBLIC
           address residents’ crime concerns
                                                           A. Crime Prevention Exhibitions
    (viii) Resolve, with the support of
                                                               and Talks
           NPPs, disputes among residents;
                                                              To stimulate greater public interest and
           and
                                                           instill crime prevention awareness, crime
    (ix) F o s t e r c i v i c c o n s c i o u s n e s s
                                                           prevention exhibitions are held throughout
           amongst residents.
                                                           the year at shopping centres, community
                                                           centres and void decks of apartments to
   The SPF, in building a strong community
                                                           reach out to the general public. The police
support, had created the Neighbourhood
                                                           also conduct talks at grassroots and private
Watch Zones in 25 RC Zones for its pilot
                                                           organisations. Crime prevention
scheme launched in April 1997. A survey
                                                           phamplets, posters and handbooks are also
was conducted a year later to find out the
                                                           produced and distributed to the general
level of awareness of the NWZ scheme and
                                                           public during exhibitions or talks and are
and the crime prevention knowledge of the
                                                           easily available at the Neighbourhood
residents. The findings were that more
                                                           Police Centres/Posts.
than 90% of the respondents wanted the
scheme to continue or be implemented in
                                                           B. Annual Crime Prevention
their estates. They also felt that the
                                                               Campaign
scheme was effective in helping to prevent
                                                              To focus attention on crimes which affect
crime. With the success of this scheme, the
                                                           the public at large, the police, together with
SPF is embarking to expand it island-wide.
                                                           the NCPC, jointly organise the Year-End
To date, the SPF has established 191
                                                           Festive Season Crime Prevention
NWZs.
                                                           Campaign. The mass media such as
                                                           television, cinema, posters etc, would also
    IV. CRIME PREVENTION
                                                           be employed to communicate crime
  PROGRAMMES AND PROJECTS
                                                           prevention messages to the general public.
   With community policing firmly in place,
and strategic networks established with                    C. Crime Risk Surveys
public organisations such as grassroots                       To determine security weaknesses, the
organisations, and private bodies such as                  police conduct Crime Risks Surveys for
various trade associations, it becomes                     both residential and commercial premises
possible to leverage on their cooperation                  upon request (by appointment or
and expertise in crime prevention. The                     registration at crime prevention
reach of crime prevention programmes                       exhibitions). The police also visit scenes of
initiated by the SPF is greatly enhanced                   crime to advise the victims of means of
through these collaborations with leading                  improving the structural security features
public and private organisations that aim                  of their premises. The aims of the surveys
to enhance security-awareness and                          are:
security within their respective trades and
spheres of operation. The following are                        (i)  To provide specialised advisory
some of the crime prevention programmes                             services on crime prevention to
being implemented by the police in                                  the public at no cost;
collaboration with the community.                              (ii) To help improve the physical
                                                                    security features of premises; and




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                         RESOURCE MATERIAL SERIES No. 56

      (iii) To encourage the use of various      2. Crime Prevention for Uniformed
            crime prevention measures and            Groups
            devices to enhance the security of     To reinforce crime prevention messages
            premises.                            among uniformed youth groups in schools
                                                 such as the National Police Cadet Corps,
D. Crime Watch TV Progamme                       the Scouts and Girl Guides, participation
   To educate the general public through         in crime prevention activities are
the television, the police and the NCPC also     encouraged. These activities include crime
jointly produce the Crime Watch TV               prevention knowledge tests, visits to NPPs
Programme Series. The programme                  and the Crime Prevention Display Room.
features crime awareness including solved        Upon completion of these activities,
and unsolved cases, appealing for                students would be awarded the Crime
information and witnesses and public             Prevention Proficiency Badge. The police
education segments on crime prevention           intend to extend the award to all other
measures or road safety. This TV                 uniformed groups in schools.
programme is shown monthly during
prime-time in both the English and               3. Textbook for Students
Chinese languages.                                  To educate our students on crime
                                                 prevention, a series of crime prevention
E. Crime Prevention for Senior                   textbooks called “Dear Mr Policeman” were
    Citizens                                     brought into the school curriculums in 1986
   Senior citizens being vulnerable and          to teach students from upper primary to
trusting, can easily become victims of           lower secondary levels the importance of
unscrupulous criminals. Crime Prevention         crime prevention. This series, which is still
Talks are conducted by Crime Prevention          currently being taught, will soon be
Officers (CPOs) to various senior citizen        replaced in 1999 by an enhanced series
associations or groups. This also involves       called “Safe and Secure: That’s Our
police liaison with the People’s Association     Singapore”, which will carry not only crime
and related organisations on the organising      prevention messages from the police, but
of crime prevention programmes and               also road safety, and fire safety messages
exhibitions.                                     from the Singapore Civil Defence Force,
                                                 and drug abuse prevention messages from
F. Crime Prevention for the Young                the Central Narcotics Bureau.
    and Youths
1. School Security Committees (SSCs)             4. Crime Prevention CDs for Schools
   The Committee is headed by teachers in           A crime prevention interactive multi-
the schools themselves. The programme            media CD targeting students and youths
was formed to enhance crime prevention           have been developed. The CD contains the
and fire safety in the schools. The police       messages of crime prevention, fire safety/
officers at the NPPs act as liaison officers     emergency preparedness, anti-drug abuse
to these SSCs. Meetings are held with            and road safety, from the police, Singapore
SSCs to update them on the latest crime          Civil Defence Force and the Central
trends and advice. The police also render        Narcotics Bureau respectively. The CD
assistance, such as arranging and                comes complete with digitised images and
conducting crime prevention talks to the         good audio and visual animation to make
students.                                        learning fun and interactive for students
                                                 and youths alike.



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5. Crime Prevention Videos                                      academic and recreation support;
   An educational video called “Gangfile”                       and
warning teenagers of the dangers of joining               (iii) Voluntary curfew.
gangs; and a handbook called “Say No To
Gangs”, has been produced and distributed              Participants in the voluntary curfew
to all schools. Another video, entitled              scheme will have to undertake not to visit
“Prison Me? No Way!” has been produced               certain entertainment outlets and likely
for students and youths to steer them away           gang hangouts. They must also stay at
from crime. The video recounts the prison            home during certain times of the day. Their
life of 2 youth offenders, and conveys the           parents will have to agree to supervise
severity, harshness and consequences of a            them and ensure that they observe the
prison sentence. The video, which is                 curfew for the duration of the programme.
distributed to all schools, comes complete
with a teachers’ guide.                              8. Visits to Penal Institutions
                                                        The police and CNB will continue to
6. Joint School Talks on Crime and Drug              organise institutional visits for youths
    Abuse Prevention                                 identified to be involved in petty crimes and
   To maximise the benefits of combined              other delinquent activities at the prisons
preventive drug and crime education                  and Drug Rehabilitation Centres
among students, the police and the Central           respectively. This would enable the youths
Narcotics Bureau (CNB) have integrated               to have direct exposure to the deprivations
and coordinated joint school talks on crime,         in the drug and penal regimes.
secret society activities and drug abuse
prevention. The police, CNB and Ministry             9. Organisation of Police Youth Camps
of Education (MOE) also work together to               Youth camps for high-risk students will
draw up a year-long lecture schedule for             be organised by the police to serve as an
schools. This schedule ensures that every            outlet for energy and imagination, to steer
school will be visited by the officers and           youths away from crime or associating with
benefit from their talks. Apart from the             bad elements. This will also instill some
schedule, schools can also request special           confidence as well as social skills in them.
talks to small group of students who have
been singled-out for any kind of infractions.        10. H o n o r a r y Vo l u n t e e r S p e c i a l
This helps the police and CNB to establish               Constabulary (VSC) Scheme
better ties with discipline masters and with            As juvenile delinquents have become
schools in general.                                  increasingly defiant and aggressive over
                                                     the years, the police alone cannot tackle
7. Streetwise Programme                              the problem effectively. The Honorary VSC
  In addition to preventive education in             scheme was introduced in 1997 to
schools, the National Youth Council (NYC)            strengthen the links between schools and
has initiated the “StreetWise Programme”             the police in an effort to keep juvenile
-a programme designed to change the                  delinquency problems and youth-gang
behaviour of youths who have unwittingly             influences away from schools. Teachers are
drifted into gang activities. Three key              appointed as Honorary VSC Senior
components in the programme are:                     Officers.

    (i) Counselling;                                   The appointment symbolises police
    (ii) D e v e l o p m e n t t r a i n i n g t o   presence and authority in schools and
         inculcate life skills and provide           enhances teachers’ position as the overseer


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                           RESOURCE MATERIAL SERIES No. 56

of school discipline. The Honorary VSC                 To date, 145 CPCs have been formed all
Senior Officers carry warrant cards which              over Singapore.
enables them to make arrests when there
are serious breaches of the peace within,              2. Crime Prevention for Construction
or in the immediate vicinity of, the school                Sites
compound or during school activities.                    Security audits of construction sites are
                                                       conducted jointly by the Singapore
   The Honorary VSC Senior Officers play               Contractors Association Limited (SCAL),
the role of the liaison officer between the            the NCPC and the police. The objectives
respective schools and the police. Police              are to promote and encourage crime
will work closely with them to curb juvenile           prevention awareness, enhance work site
delinquency. They will contact the police              security and to deter unauthorised visitors
should the need arise and assist in                    and illegal immigrants. To educate foreign
scheduling talks on topics related to secret           workers, a crime prevention video for
society activities or crime prevention. They           construction workers in 7 different
also help to organise police-youth activities          languages was also produced and
such as visits to prisons and monitor the              incorporated as part of the orientation
behaviour of delinquent students in                    programme for foreign workers. Every
schools.                                               year, seminars on construction safety and
                                                       security are also jointly organised by the
   As they are part of the SPF, they are               police, NCPC and SCAL.
conferred powers of arrest, and can offer
advice on police procedures and police-                3. Crime Prevention for Hotels
related matters to staff and students in                  The Singapore Hotel Association (SHA),
their schools. They also counsel                       the NCPC and the police work closely in
recalcitrant students on the consequences              organising the annual Hotel Security
of criminal or gang activities.                        Conference and Awards Presentation.
                                                       Together with SHA, the police also conduct
G. Commercial and Industrial                           security audits at hotels to ensure their
    Sectors                                            standard of security. The objectives are to
1. C r i m e P r e s e n t a t i o n f o r C r i m e   promote an urgent sense of security in the
    Prevention Committees (CPCs)                       hotels, to encourage and assist installation
   To look after the commercial and                    of mechanised security systems such as
industrial sectors, the police in 1982                 closed-circuit television (CCTV) and to
introduced Crime Prevention Committees                 endorse security training programmes for
(CPCs). CPCs serve as an organised body                the hotels.
where the police can work closely with both
the commercial and industrial sectors on                     VI. EVALUATING THE
crime prevention. They are equivalent to                   EFFECTIVENESS OF THE
the Neighbourhood Watch Scheme in                           COMMUNITY POLICING
public/private residential estates and are              STRATEGY / CRIME PREVENTION
responsible for monitoring and looking                           PROGRAMMES
after the security of their respective
                                                         The effectiveness of any country’s
commercial/shopping or industrial
                                                       policing strategy and crime prevention
complexes; organising crime prevention
                                                       programmes is best gauged by a public
activities and implementing the
                                                       perception survey on the overall crime
recommended security measures in
                                                       levels, sense of security and police
consultation with police representatives.


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presence. To this end, such a survey was        and grassroots organisations to raise crime
conducted by the police in 1997. Of those       prevention awareness. To do this, the
surveyed, 62% of the respondents believed       police will continue to establish close
that major crimes were declining, and 46%       partnerships with community-based
perceived that minor crimes were                organisations and self-help groups to
declining. Comparing the general security       leverage on mutual strengths and expertise
of Singapore with most countries in the         to combat crime.
world, 93% of the respondents felt it was
better. 86% of the respondents also felt that   C. Enhancing Crime Prevention
the security in Singapore at present (1996)         Awareness among Police Officers
was better than 5 years ago (1991). More           To continue enhancing crime prevention
than 95% of respondents felt that, on the       awareness among its officers, the SPF aims
whole, the NPP system, and the police in        to further enhance the expertise of Crime
general have met their expectations.            Prevention Officers, by upgrading the
                                                general crime prevention knowledge
   In terms of the effectiveness of crime       (including technical and highly specialised
prevention programmes, television               aspects) and awareness of officers through
programmes such as crime watch continue         training. Police will, together with the
to top the list, with 93% of respondents        NCPC, generate initiatives for crime
having known of it. Of the respondents who      prevention and build strategic alliances
expressed knowledge of the crime watch          with organisations in the private and
programmes, 75% have watched it before.         public sector to raise crime prevention
Other crime prevention activities which the     awareness in their respective fields.
public are aware of include posters (73%),
leaflets and newsletters (69%), and                       VIII. CONCLUSION
exhibitions (68%).
                                                   To manage the expectations of the public,
                                                and to meet the challenges of the 21 st
    VII. FUTURE CHALLENGES
                                                century, the police will continue to improve
A. Expansion of Neighbourhood                   and fine-tune the system of community
    Watch Zones                                 policing and to continuously involve the
   The strategy of engaging the community       public. Internally, the police will
in crime prevention awareness will              continuously hone and improve the existing
continue. The police are looking into the       infrastructure of community policing to
expansion of the NWZ Scheme. The aim is         keep in step with the complexity of the
to foster the idea of neighbourhood watch       crime scene in the years to come. No effort
and the concept of self-help in crime           is spared as our officers are continuously
prevention to residents via the Residents’      trained with the latest technology and
Committee (RC) and the Residents’               know how. Laterally, the police will also
Association (RA). With close partnership        venture to establish strategic alliances and
in the community, the NWZ Scheme will           partnerships with grassroots bodies,
become more effective in reaching out to        private organisations, various trade
residents island-wide.                          associations, public institutions, etc, to curb
                                                crime. In this regard, work on the NWZ
B. Enhancing Strategic Alliances                Scheme will be carried out in earnest so
    with Community Groups                       that it is implemented island-wide. The
   The SPF intends to enhance the               future of our policing strategy is embodied
strategic alliances with community groups       in our crime prevention slogan for 1998/



                                                                                           149
                       RESOURCE MATERIAL SERIES No. 56

99, which is “Together We Can Prevent
Crime”. Thus, as we enter into the 21st
century, the police-public partnership will
remain a vital chemistry for any success
in combating crime.




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