Police beef up presence at popular locations for festive season

Senior Parliamentary Secretary of Home Affairs Amrin Amin with the In-Situ Reaction Team on a patrol of the Clarke Quay area on Dec 27, 2019. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

SINGAPORE - Police preparations for the festive season have long been under way with officers being deployed to more locations with big groups of revellers.

In-Situ Reaction Teams (IRT) from Police Land Divisions have been patrolling new locations such as Clarke Quay and Raffles Place since Dec 1.

This is in addition to IRT teams already deployed to Orchard Road and Marina Bay who will serve as first responders to security incidents in the area.

The teams will continue patrolling areas of large crowds after the festive season with armed officers deployed daily in groups of four.

Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs Amrin Amin said the threat of terrorism remains very high in Singapore, especially during the festive season when crowds gather in entertainment outlets like malls.

"The IRT's mission is to deter, detect and respond, and officers have been well trained to respond to security incidents," said Mr Amrin, who was speaking during a visit with an IRT team on Friday evening (Dec 27) in Clarke Quay.

"Our officers, with their presence, sends a strong message that there are people on duty, people keeping a lookout for the area. We are prepared."

The IRTs were introduced in Dec 2017 to patrol locations with high footfall so officers could react quickly to neutralise any armed threats during security incidents, said the police on Friday.

IRTs complement other forces like the Emergency Response Teams and Rapid Deployment Troops where officers use vehicles like cars and motorbikes.

Security is also being ramped up in the Marina Bay Area in preparation for the countdown to the new year.

The police will deploy new technology like the multi-purpose all-terrain autonomous robot 3.0, which can provide video coverage up to a height of 2m. Unmanned aerial vehicles will also be used to broadcast police messages.

Police and auxiliary police officers will regulate the number of people entering the Marina Bay area to prevent overcrowding on New Year's Eve and certain exits of MRT stations in the area may be closed.

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