Singapore Government Press Release
Media Relations Division, Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts
MITA Building, 140 Hill Street, 2nd Storey, Singapore 179369
SPEECH BY ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR HO PENG KEE, SENIOR MINISTER OF STATE FOR LAW AND HOME AFFAIRS AT THE LAUNCH OF THE FESTIVE SEASON CRIME PREVENTION CAMPAIGN 2003/04 AND THE NCPC MOVIE, AFTER SCHOOL ON 15 NOVEMBER 2003, NGEE ANN CITY CIVIC PLAZA AT 8 PM
National Crime Prevention Council Chairman Mr Tan Kian Hoon
Commissioner of Police
Ladies and Gentlemen
I am glad that all of you are here today for the launch of the annual Festive Season Crime Prevention Campaign, as well as the launch of After School, the first movie commissioned by the National Crime Prevention Council, or NCPC for short.
This time of the year is a time for festivities. During the coming festive season, Police will be increasing its patrols, working closely with partners in enhancing community programmes like the Citizens On Patrol and the Neighbourhood Watch Zones, to deter and detect crime. As individuals, we should also not let our guard down and let crime ruin our festive joy.
Keep Crimes at Bay
The focus of this year�s campaign is on preventing robbery. In the first nine months of 2003, there were about 750 cases of robbery. This represents an increase of around 10 per cent as compared to the same period last year. Of particular concern is the increase in the number of elderly victims, from 71 to 88, an almost 24 per cent increase as compared to the same period last year. More than three-quarters of this group of victims were elderly females who were running daily errands, such as buying groceries or fetching their grandchildren to and from schools.
To educate and reach out to the elderly on crime prevention measures, crime trends and the various modus operandi of criminals, NCPC appointed its second batch of 28 Crime Prevention Ambassadors for Senior Citizens on 28 September to educate more senior citizens on crime prevention measures and assist police officers in various crime prevention activities.
Although the elderly are particularly vulnerable, they are not the only targets of crime. All of us must not unwittingly encourage crimes from being committed. Crime prevention is actually a simple concept that requires common sense. Bearing in mind three important key messages will help greatly in this.
Firstly, your neighbours are your first line of defence. Being on good terms with your neighbours is not just common courtesy. Good neighbours can help look out for suspicious-looking strangers loitering in the neighbourhood. Keep a neighbour informed of your vacation plans so they can help remove unwanted flyers or newspapers from your doorstep while you are away. Such simple acts of neighbourliness send out a strong signal of solidarity against crime, and can help deter criminals.
Next, remember that it's everybody's business to be public-spirited. Alert the police immediately upon discovering a crime so that Police can respond speedily. Do answer someone's call for help. Who knows, one day you may be the one who need someone to answer your call for help.
Thirdly, don�t be an easy target for criminals. Carrying and displaying large amounts of cash in public and donning excessive jewelry can attract unnecessary and unwanted attention. Switching to cashless means of banking, such as using crossed cheques and GIRO to pay bills, year-end bonuses and staff salaries, can also help reduce opportunities for crime for both companies and the individual.
Working together to Make Singapore a Safer Place
NCPC has, over the past year, been driving home the message that each and every one has a role to play in making Singapore a safer place. Together with the Inter-Ministry Committee on Youth Crime and other partners, Police and NCPC have attempted to reduce theft, shop-theft, and rioting among youths. A series of Youth Crime Prevention Roadshows, targeted at 200 secondary schools, junior colleges and other educational institutions, was launched on 22 August this year. The aim is to raise the awareness of the youth crime situation amongst students, teachers and parents and to give them a better understanding of the consequences of an arrest and the various crime-prevention measures.
To better protect our homes, the NCPC is also spearheading projects in the area of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design. That is, the science of designing buildings, parks, and the physical environment to make them less conducive for crime. A Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design Guidelines Handbook has been launched and the public can learn more about this concept on the NCPC website [Footnote: The NCPC website is: http://www.ncpc.gov.sg/].
NCPC Maiden Crime Prevention Movie- After School
The NCPC and Police have been producing the popular current affairs programme Crime Watch, as well as the critically acclaimed Malay and Tamil social dramas, Anak Metropolitan and Rehai. Now the NCPC and the Police have gone a step further to harness the power of cinema as a crime prevention tool, by commissioning its first Mandarin movie, After School.
The compelling plot revolves around the tumultuous relationship between a female police inspector and her brother, and has themes of family bonding and juvenile delinquency inter-woven throughout the movie. The movie also reflects the NCPC�s commitment to stay relevant in changing times. I encourage every Singaporean to see this movie in support of our collective fight against crime.
On this note, I would like to congratulate the NCPC for being awarded the coveted State-Province Program of the Year Award [Footnote: This is in category 1, which is for states or provinces over 200,000 in population.]. This international award, conferred by the International Society of Crime Prevention Practitioners based in the US, recognises states and provinces for programmes or associations that significantly benefit and impact the crime prevention initiatives within the community. That the NCPC clinched the award is a testimonial of the work that it has put in. Keep up the good work!
Work Together to Keep Crime Away
The initiatives of the NCPC and the Police in crime prevention are not enough. The initiatives are only effective with the continued and concerted effort of each and every Singaporean. We should never be complacent in our fight against crime. Be ever vigilant, and never let your guard down. Let us keep crime at bay.
Thank you and may you have a pleasant evening ahead.