Police stepping up patrols with increase in shoplifting and theft cases during GSS period

NPCC cadet officers J. Yoga Lakshmi and Emma Peh from Raffles Girls' School giving out pamphlets on theft prevention at Ngee Ann City on June 29, 2019.
NPCC cadet officers J. Yoga Lakshmi and Emma Peh from Raffles Girls' School giving out pamphlets on theft prevention at Ngee Ann City on June 29, 2019.ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

SINGAPORE - The number of shoplifting and theft from person cases reported during the Great Singapore Sale (GSS) period has grown in the last two years.

Police will therefore be stepping up patrols at shopping malls along Orchard Road during this period.

The police announced on Saturday (June 29) that officers from the Orchard Neighbourhood Police Centre's Community Police will also be partnering NPCC cadet officers from Raffles Girls' School to disseminate crime prevention advisories on shop theft, and how shoppers can prevent themselves from falling prey to pickpockets. This will go on for the duration of the GSS.

Speaking to the media on Saturday , Commanding Officer of Orchard Neighbourhood Police Centre, Superintendent Eileen Kan, said: "We would also like to remind shoppers to be more vigilant and alert to their surroundings, and avoid carrying large amounts of cash with them during shopping and to never leave their handbags or wallets unattended in public places, even for a short period of time."

Shop theft cases during the annual sale period increased by 3.6 per cent from 676 cases in 2017 to 700 cases in 2018. Now in its 25th year, GSS began as a month-long event in 1994 and it quickly became Singapore's biggest retail event. This year's sale started on June 21 and will end on July 28.

Police also advised retailers to adopt crime prevention measures such as displaying expensive merchandise in locked cabinets and making sure that closed-curcuit television cameras are in good working condition and have adequate coverage of the shop's premises.

Police advised shoppers to avoid placing wallets in back pockets and to remember to carry handbags in front. Shoppers are also reminded to refrain from wearing excessive gold or jewellery that may attract potential criminals and to avoid being distracted by strangers creating a commotion.