Maids attend workshop to boost crime prevention awareness

Senior Staff Sergeant Ghaffari Nazarudin (in blue) speaking to the foreign domestic workers who attended the Domestic Guardian Watchgroup 2019 workshop, on Nov 10, 2019.
Senior Staff Sergeant Ghaffari Nazarudin (in blue) speaking to the foreign domestic workers who attended the Domestic Guardian Watchgroup 2019 workshop, on Nov 10, 2019. PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

SINGAPORE - Foreign domestic workers (FDWs) are helping prevent crime in Singapore, with several volunteering as ambassadors and featuring in videos sharing crime prevention tips.

The videos on how to deal with scams and illegal trespass were shared with participants of the fifth edition of the Domestic Guardian Watchgroup workshop organised by the Bedok Police Division on Sunday (Nov 10).

Around 320 maids attended the workshop at the Lifelong Learning Institute in Paya Lebar which was aimed at equipping maids with knowledge and skills to create a safe and secure environment.

Participants learnt about how to prevent common crimes such as housebreaking, trespass and scams.

They also learnt about how to safeguard against unlicensed moneylenders and the consequences of dealing with loan sharks.

The workshop also included briefings by the Ministry of Manpower on working and living in Singapore and the National Environment Agency on preventing the spread of dengue.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force conducted basic cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automated external defibrillator (AED) training and encouraged maids to register as first responders.

The Foreign Domestic Worker Association and the Centre for Domestic Employees were also involved in Sunday's session.

Senior Staff Sergeant (SSSGT) Ghaffari Nazarudin, a Crime Prevention Unit officer at Bedok South Neighbourhood Police Centre and a member of the organising committee for the workshop, said that there has been an increase in crime awareness among FDWs since the first workshop in 2013.

 

"The domestic helpers have benefited a lot from this event because once they have attained this knowledge, they are able to pass it down to their friends," he said.

He added that the number of participants had grown over the years and this resulted in greater spread of the crime prevention message.

SSSGT Ghaffari noted that several FDWs had volunteered as crime prevention ambassadors, and their participation in the videos like the ones shown on Sunday made the crime awareness message more relatable among workshop attendees.

Ms Milagros Bangkiat, 57, who is from the Philippines, was among the participants on Sunday with her employer of almost 35 years.

She has attended several similar programmes in the past, and said that she enjoyed the sessions as it allowed her to stay updated with her first-aid and crime prevention skills, amongst others.

"I like attending the first-aid sessions because it's very useful and you can help save lives, and I think the fire prevention sessions are important because if it happens (in your home), you know how to deal with it," Ms Bangkiat said.