Public entertainment nightspots set up watch group to fight crime, potential security threats

Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs Amrin Amin delivers his speech at The Smart Clubbing Campaign at Bar Rouge, Swissotel, on Oct 15, 2019.
Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs Amrin Amin delivers his speech at The Smart Clubbing Campaign at Bar Rouge, Swissotel, on Oct 15, 2019.ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

SINGAPORE - Public entertainment (PE) nightspots have come together to set up an industry safety and security watch group with the police to implement crime prevention and counter-terrorism measures.

The setting up of the watch group comes amid a sharp jump in the number of cases of rioting, affray and serious hurt at these nightspots. They rose to 56 cases in the first eight months of this year, compared to 36 for the same period last year.

In addition, the regional terrorist threat remains high with crowded places being attractive targets for terrorists, said Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs Amrin Amin on Tuesday (Oct 15) at the launch of the second iteration of the Smart Clubbing Campaign.

The Public Entertainment Industry Safety and Security Watch Group, which comprises 21 public entertainment outlets, four associated partners and the police, will promote information sharing on nightspot-related crimes islandwide and potential security threats, he added.

Participating public entertainment nightspots in the group can also act as "additional eyes and ears for each other, and help to look out for one another", said Mr Amrin.

"For example, if there are potential troublemakers or suspicious characters in the vicinity, such information can be quickly shared with each other and police may also be alerted early to keep the patrons safe," he added.

He cited how Singapore River One, which manages the Singapore River precinct that includes Boat Quay, Clarke Quay and Robertson Quay, has created a dedicated WhatsApp chat group with its public entertainment nightspots to allow rapid sharing of information on safety and security matters.

Meanwhile, other nightspots such as Bar Rouge at Swissotel The Stamford have implemented policies to not serve alcoholic drinks to highly intoxicated persons.

Mr Amrin also noted that nightspots Zouk and Bang Bang have set up holding areas in each of their premises for highly intoxicated persons to rest and sober up.

(From left) Director Community Partnership Department, Deputy Assistant Commissioner of Police Shng Yunn Chinn; chairman NCPC Gerald Singam; Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs Amri Amrin; Director of Operations, Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police How Kwang Hwee; and Commander, Central Police Division, Assistant Commissioner of Police Gregory Tan at the launch of Public Entertainment Industry Safety and Security Watch Group. ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

"For their patrons' safety, these PE nightspots help ensure that they are not left alone on the street in an intoxicated state," said Mr Amrin.

He added that these measures not only benefit the patrons but also enhance the image, reputation and business of the local nightlife industry, and said he hopes that all public entertainment nightspots will adopt similar practices "in time to come".


Marina Bay Sands, which houses Singapore's largest nightclub Marquee, told The Straits Times it has also implemented similar safety measures, such as a "recovery bay" which allows patrons to rest and recuperate or seek medical assistance if needed.

The Smart Clubbing Campaign was first launched last September by the police in partnership with the National Crime Prevention Council to tackle the increase in crimes such as outrage of modesty, theft and violent crimes at public entertainment nightspots.

Since then, there has been a decline in the number of outrage of modesty cases by 17 per cent, as well as in the number of theft cases by 26 per cent at public entertainment nightspots, according to police statistics.