'Gunmen' subdued in Clarke Quay drill

About 140 people took part in Exercise Heartbeat 2017, a counter-terrorism exercise organised by the Singapore Police Force and the Ministry of Manpower.
During the counter-terrorism simulation yesterday, gunmen who opened fire in a Clarke Quay nightclub were swiftly taken down by police officers.
During the counter-terrorism simulation yesterday, gunmen who opened fire in a Clarke Quay nightclub were swiftly taken down by police officers.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

Anti-terror exercise involving 140 held to test response of police, people in the area

Two gunmen "opened fire" in a Clarke Quay nightclub yesterday afternoon but they were swiftly taken down by police officers.

Thankfully, it was not for real. The exercise was a counter-terrorism simulation organised by the Singapore Police Force and the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

In an earlier segment, the police took down a knife-wielding attacker who had run through a covered walkway, stabbing bystanders.

In a statement released yesterday, the organisers said Exercise Heartbeat was carried out to test the response of the police, businesses and workers in the area.

In its ninth year, it was the first time that the annual exercise was conducted in Clarke Quay, a popular nightclub area that draws about a million visitors each month.

About 140 people took part in the exercise yesterday.

This year's scenario was modelled after the attack on Borough Market in London that left eight people dead and 48 injured in June.

Police officers took down an attacker wielding a knife in Clarke Quay yesterday afternoon, as part of a counter-terrorism simulation called Exercise Heartbeat. Organised by the police and the Manpower Ministry, the exercise was meant to test the resp
'Attacker' taken down in Clarke Quay: Police officers took down an attacker wielding a knife in Clarke Quay yesterday afternoon, as part of a counter-terrorism simulation called Exercise Heartbeat. Organised by the police and the Manpower Ministry, the exercise was meant to test the responses of businesses and workers in the area, and the police. About 140 people took part in the exercise yesterday. This year's scenario involved three assailants who shot and stabbed bystanders. It was the first time that a counter-terrorism simulation exercise was held at Clarke Quay, a popular tourist area that attracts about a million visitors a month. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

Last year, one of the venues for the exercise was Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay in September, almost a year after a terrorist attack in Paris killed 89 people during a sold-out rock concert.

For this year's exercise, MOM worked with CapitaLand Mall Asia, which manages the Clarke Quay area, to build up businesses' reactions towards terrorism as part of its SGSecure at Workplaces programme.

It has been encouraging employees to download the SGSecure app, training them on evacuation routes and keeping a list of the businesses' safety representatives.

Second Minister for Manpower and Home Affairs Josephine Teo said the response of building management and tenants will make a critical difference when a terrorist attack occurs at the workplace.

"If they know how to respond swiftly, they can save lives, minimise disruption and we are more likely to recover quickly," she said.

Companies can find out more about SGSecure at www.sg secure.sg and www.mom.gov.sg/sgsecure.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 11, 2017, with the headline ''Gunmen' subdued in Clarke Quay drill'. Print Edition | Subscribe