Singapore reintroduces "Smart Clubbing Campaign" amidst rise in molestation cases
Singapore police have enlisted 100 nightlife establishments as part of the programme
Singapore Police Force is reviving their ‘Smart Clubbing Campaign’ amid concerns over and increase in violence and molestation cases.
The aim of the campaign is to remind everyone that club patrons and the nightlife industry have a shared role in ensuring a safe clubbing experience for everyone, particularly after a three-year break.
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Between January and September 2022, 77 molestation cases were reported at nightclubs, according to the police. This is up from 17 cases for the same period in 2021, when nightlife activities were heavily restricted due to COVID-19 regulations.
Before the pandemic, there were 104 molestation cases in 2019 and 143 cases in 2018. In the first nine months of 2022, 36 cases of rioting, affray, disorderly behaviour, and serious harm were reported, an increase from 10 cases the previous year.
Nightclubs like Marquee at Marina Bay Sands have been commended for ramping up security, including a walk-through detection system that was piloted during the quiet period of the pandemic; the system detects weapon-shaped items that will trigger an alarm.
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Speaking at Marquee last month on Thursday 19 January, Singapore’s Minister of State for Home Affairs Sun Xueling highlighted two measures which can help to address and de-escalate dangerous situations from happening for this year.
“First, staff at the club play a very important role. They can be further trained to keep themselves and patrons safe from outrage of modesty, to identify suspicious patrons, and to detect illicit items like weapons and drugs during pre-entry checks.”
Xueling continued, “Second, we know that many patrons come to clubs to drink, some might have one drink too many and they find themselves drunk by the end of the night. Intoxicated patrons may sometimes put themselves and others in dangerous situations, especially when they find themselves involved in fights, assaults, or cases of outrage of modesty.”
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This is the third edition of the “Smart Clubbing Campaign” which was launched in 2018, 2019 and now re-introduced in 2023.
For 2023, Singapore police have enlisted 100 nightlife establishments as part of the programme, and stated, “To enhance police presence at public entertainment-related hotspots, the police will be deploying more surveillance cameras, including the SPF Enhanced Mobicam.”
Below is the “Smart Clubbing Campaign” video used by Singapore Police Force in 2019.
[via The Straits Times, Singapore Police Force]
Adrianna Cheung is Mixmag Asia’s Culture Curator, follow her on Instagram.