Workshop educates maids on how to prevent crime

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

The videos on how to deal with scams and illegal trespass were shared with participants of the fifth Domestic Guardian Watchgroup workshop organised by the Bedok Police Division yesterday.

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 how to prevent common crimes such as housebreaking, trespass and scams, as well as how to safeguard against unlicensed moneylenders.

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

The Singapore Civil Defence Force conducted basic cardiopulmonary resuscitation and automated external defibrillator training and encouraged domestic workers to register as first responders.

The Foreign Domestic Worker Association for Social Support and Training and the Centre for Domestic Employees were also involved in yesterday's session.

Senior Staff Sergeant Ghaffari Nazarudin, a Crime Prevention Unit officer at Bedok South Neighbourhood Police Centre and a member of the organising committee for the workshop, said: "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 added that the number of participants has grown over the years since the first workshop in 2013, and this has resulted in greater spread of the crime prevention message.


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

Ms Milagros Bangkiat, 57, who is from the Philippines, has attended similar programmes in the past and was among the participants yesterday with her employer of almost 35 years.

"I like attending the first-aid sessions because they are 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," she said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 11, 2019, with the headline 'Workshop educates maids on how to prevent crime'. Print Edition | Subscribe