One in five shop theft cases reported in Orchard Road last year carried out during GSS period

SINGAPORE - Nearly one in five shop theft cases reported in the Orchard Road shopping belt last year was carried out during the Great Singapore Sale (GSS) period the police revealed on Friday (May 20).

Last year, there were 109 cases of shop theft in Orchard during the GSS period, which accounts for 17 per cent of the 640 cases for the entire year, the police said.

There was also a 17 per cent spike in the overall number of shop theft cases in Orchard over the past two years.

The GSS is an annual shopping event organised by the Singapore Retailers Association, which is set to return in two weeks and last until Aug 14.

To help keep shop thieves at bay, two new initiatives were launched on Friday by the Orchard Neighbourhood Police Centre, as part of a Safe Shopping Campaign.

"Everyone has a part to play in our common endeavour to make Singapore a safe and secure place to shop, dine and play," said Tanjong Pagar GRC Member of Parliament Joan Pereira , who launched the initiatives at Wisma Atria on Friday (May 20).

The first initiative, the Retail Watch Group @ Orchard, comprises mall owners, retailers and the police. The watch group will spearhead crime prevention and security awareness efforts in malls to promote a safe shopping environment.

Besides meeting up with retailers regularly, the police will also provide timely updates on the latest crime trends and modus operandi through its e-newsletter to all members.

Many of them have also been encouraged to set up chat groups to faciliate quick exchange of crime information and retail best practices.

"This partnership will ensure the sharing of key security information and advice between traders, which in turn will help them to deter and combat crime," said Singapore Retailers Association executive director Anthony Gan.

Over the past two months, staff from 20 brand names, such as Forever21, and the building management of 18 buildings have also received training on anti-theft measures. They were given certificates of participation on Friday (May 20).

The second initiative, Shoppers-on-Watch (Show), aims to get shoppers on board to look out for suspicious behaviour, activities or articles. In such cases, shoppers are urged to quicky report them to security staff or the police.

This will allow timely action to e taken to prevent, deter or detect crime, said Ms Pereira.