Have fun but stay smart, says new police drive for nightspots

Club staff have been trained to look out for patrons who may be at risk of becoming victims, while posters will warn clubbers of nightspot common crimes.
Club staff have been trained to look out for patrons who may be at risk of becoming victims, while posters will warn clubbers of nightspot common crimes. ST FILE PHOTO:

'Smart clubbing' campaign gets partygoers, entertainment spots to help fight crime

Staff at nightspots have been trained to be more vigilant for patrons who are too intoxicated to take care of themselves, and be proactive in preventing disputes from escalating into fights.

Clubbers will also be greeted with posters and noticeboards warning them about common crimes at public entertainment outlets in an effort to reduce offences in these areas.

These are some of the efforts to fight common crimes associated with public entertainment outlets - such as molestation, theft and rioting - in a "smart clubbing" campaign launched by the police yesterday.

It is supported by the National Crime Prevention Council and major public entertainment outlets in Clarke Quay, Orchard Road, Marina Bay and Sentosa.

The launch also unveiled a campaign video featuring local artiste Irene Ang as a clubber who adopts measures to protect herself from molestation, theft and fights.

Some clubs, including Zouk, have also introduced their own crime prevention measures.

Zouk general manager Wayne Lee, 38, said the Clarke Quay nightspot has trained ground staff, including bartenders and managers, to prevent disputes from escalating into fights and also to remind customers not to leave belongings unattended.

It has also added drawers to its tables and sofas so that customers can keep their valuables safe from theft, he added.

  • 37%

  • Increase in molestation cases at nightspots, compared with the same period last year - from 46 cases to 63 cases.

The effort comes after mid-year crime statistics released last month showed that molestation cases at nightspots increased by 37 per cent compared with the same period last year - from 46 cases to 63 cases.

These cases are therefore "one key crime which the police will continue to strengthen their work on", said Ms Sun Xueling, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs and National Development, during the launch at Zouk.

 
 
 

She added that theft and violent crimes such as rioting, affray and causing serious hurt remain as the crimes of concern at or in the vicinity of nightspots.

A high proportion of violent cases tend to occur in the wee hours, she added, citing how one in two serious hurt cases and three in four rioting cases at nightspots last year occurred between 3am and 5am.

Ms Sun also noted that fighting such crimes is a "shared responsibility" among businesses and individuals, on top of police efforts.

While business owners have a vital role to play in raising awareness through crime advisory noticeboards and posters at their premises, individuals must also take personal responsibility to safeguard themselves against being a victim of crime, she added.

Undergraduate Juliette Lim, 22, who goes to nightspots several times a month, said she welcomes the campaign though she is uncertain about the effectiveness of using posters to raise awareness.

"Maybe the clubs can also get DJs to make announcements to remind clubbers not to leave their belongings unattended and to seek help from staff if needed," she added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 06, 2018, with the headline 'Have fun but stay smart, says new police drive for nightspots'. Print Edition | Subscribe