Holland Village bank robbery: Banks' security measures include CCTV, alarm systems

The Standard Chartered bank branch at Holland Village which was robbed on July 7.
The Standard Chartered bank branch at Holland Village which was robbed on July 7. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

Under the Private Security Industry Act, banks are considered "high-risk premises" and employ a combination of security measures at their branches, which include closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras and alarm systems that alert the Singapore Police Force of any crimes committed on their premises.

Mr Paul Lim, chief executive of Secura Group, noted that financial institutions here are designed with limited entry and exit points, and have security set-ups, including CCTV cameras and panic buttons. They may also employ armed guards and conduct exercises to prepare their staff to handle emergencies such as a robbery.

The Straits Times understands that no guard was present at Standard Chartered Bank's Holland Village branch.

"In today's world, everybody leaves behind both physical and digital footprints, and all these provide more avenues to try and solve a crime," said Mr Lim.

Mr Toby Koh, group managing director of Ademco Security Group, added that when a panic button is activated, security personnel at a central monitoring station would be able to view the video footage at the point in time when the alarm was triggered, as well as receive real-time video feed of the ground situation.

A spokesman for Certis Cisco Security said: "To achieve optimum security, it is always best to deploy both technology and manpower.

"While CCTVs provide real-time monitoring surveillance and post-event evidence for investigation purposes, bank guards are trained in measures and scenarios to mitigate robbery attempts. The presence of armed guards will serve as a deterrence and help to mitigate such risks."

Certis Cisco Security provides security services to banks such as Maybank, OCBC and DBS.

Despite the prevalence of CCTV cameras and surveillance technology at secure locations, security agencies stressed the importance of manpower on the ground.

Mr G. Nagarajan, general manager of Apex Security and Investigation, said: "We have become much more dependent on technology such as surveillance cameras. Cameras do not slip or skive off, but skilled manpower will always have to work hand in hand with technology.

"Trained people... know the importance of a situation and the stakes if they fail."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 08, 2016, with the headline 'Banks' security measures include CCTV, alarm systems'. Print Edition | Subscribe