Technology, people and partnership the cornerstones for CNB in fighting drugs

Central Narcotics Bureau officers conducting a spot check at a coffee shop during a raid on Jan 24, 2018. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Technology will aid Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) officers on the ground with a unified investigation and case management system augmenting the way they work across the different stages of operations.

Officers will be equipped with mobility applications in the field and provided with better link analysis and screening capabilities with the Integrated Drug Enforcement Administrative System II (IDEAS II).

Electronic investigation papers will also be interfaced with CNB's partner agencies for improved efficiency.

Other developments in the pipeline include an Automated Exhibit Management System (AEMS) that will automate case processing, allowing redirection of manpower to other time-critical investigations, and an Advanced Deception Detection System (ADDS) which uses neurocognitive technology to analyse brainwaves and screen suspects.

Technology was one of the three cornerstones of the CNB's Transformation Plans outlined by Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Home Affairs Amrin Amin, who was guest of honour at the CNB Workplan Seminar on Tuesday (May 22) at the Home Team Academy.

The second cornerstone, he said, was CNB staff, the "key drivers" for whom the bureau was placing a large focus on upgrading skills, sending trainers on professional courses and utilising mobile apps for on-the-go refreshing of knowledge.

Finally, forging strong partnerships with the public and private sectors as well as the community was imperative in winning the fight against drugs, Mr Amrin said.

"We need a strong network of partners to leverage their presence and reach, to push out our messages more effectively and to counter falsehoods that undermine our anti-drug efforts," he said, pointing to a CNB collaboration with Shalom Movers which saw 100 of its vehicles mobilised to spread the anti-drug message.

"We also need an active citizenry to be galvanised and empowered to advocate for a drug-free Singapore," Mr Amrin said.

He noted that South-east Asia was the world's largest methamphetamine market and the second largest for opium and heroin. New psychoactive substances also remained a threat and there was a global movement towards more liberal attitudes on drugs that has seen some countries with traditionally strong anti-narcotic stances starting to back down.

Amid these worsening global and regional trends , CNB and its partners must remain focused and committed, Mr Amrin stressed.

This was because their efforts had a significant impact on the next generation.

He recounted a case where a female drug trafficker was found to be the caregiver of a one-year-old child who was found in the company of another trafficker. Mr Amrin reported that the toddler's biological mother, who was on the run, has since been arrested. She was four months pregnant, but tested positive for drugs.

"Singapore will remain firm in our zero-tolerance stance," Mr Amrin said. "Every country has the right to choose the approach that is most effective and relevant under its unique context and we will continue with what works best for Singapore."

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