SINGAPORE - The Committee of Inquiry (COI) into the Dec 8 riot in Little India riot released its report on Monday. These are the eight recommendations it has put forth as a result of its findings:
1. Improve police communications and command-and-control capabilities and help officers dealing with public order incidents build a better picture of the ground situation, especially in rapidly changing scenarios;
2. Appropriately train and equip frontline officers from the police Land Divisions and Neighbourhood Police Centres to effectively defuse and contain large-scale public order incidents;
3. Increase police’s manpower resources, including the Police Special Operations Command, so that they can better manage mass congregation areas such as Little India, and be ready to deal with large-scale public order incidents. But quality rather than quantity should be the major consideration in augmenting the force;
4. To have police and the Singapore Civil Defence Force continue to build on their ability to respond in a concerted and coordinated manner to public order situations like they did last December;
5. Cut the layers of approval and time needed to activate essential police resources that respond to public order incidents and other emergencies;
6. Install additional lighting, safety and surveillance devices in areas which see large congregations of foreign workers, on top of installing better basic facilities in such areas;
7. Make more services and amenities available to foreign workers outside of congregation areas and work with community stakeholders on ways to reduce congestion at congregation areas; and
8. More strictly enforce rules against public drunkenness and put in place alcohol restrictions in hotspots where large crowds typically indulge in heavy drinking, and therefore which are more susceptible to trigger events that could spark a breakdown of public order.
Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, in a letter on Monday thanking the COI members, said the Home Affairs and Manpower ministries will study the committee’s report and recommendations carefully. “The Minister of Manpower and I will provide the Government’s response to the Committee’s report in Parliament on 7 July 2014,” said Mr Teo, who is also Home Affairs Minister.