Terrorists have been targeting “soft targets” such as public areas, private establishments and places with high volumes of human traffic, as these are vulnerable and attacks at these premises result in high number of casualties.
Since 2001, in addition to enhancing security at key installations, the Singapore Government has implemented various measures to raise the overall level of security in Singapore. However, this is not enough as resources are finite and the security forces cannot be everywhere. The community and private sectors must do their part too. There is a need for all buildings in Singapore to be tactically hardened against potential terrorist attacks. Thus, the Safety and Security Watch Group was implemented to achieve this purpose.
In November 2003, the Security Watch Group (SWG) Scheme was introduced as mainly a Police networking platform for the commercial sector to collaborate on the target hardening of their premises where they operate their businesses. Buildings are grouped into SWG clusters. Within each cluster, buildings undergo the three step process of threat assessment, auditing of systems and the streamlining of operations through the pooling of resources.
Nonetheless, despite the good rapport with the business community to fight crime and terrorism threats, there is still a discernible level of threat in the security climate. Hence, there is a critical need to bring the existing mode of engagement with the business community through the SWG network to a higher level, by adopting a broader and more holistic Home Team approach in it. As a result, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) was roped in to jointly administer in the scheme.
Beginning in November 2006, the SWG Scheme underwent an upgrading exercise to incorporate both safety and security aspects of the Police and SCDF, and become officially known as the Safety and Security Watch Group (SSWG) Scheme. Through this conversion, the business community will be better equipped with robust measures to fight crime and terrorism threats effectively as well as become more confident to tackle future crisis incident. Thus, the Safety and Security Watch Group was implemented to achieve this purpose.
FAQ on SSWG
Q: Who should join SSWG Scheme?
A: All buildings in Singapore are encouraged to participate in the SSWG Scheme because terrorism affects everybody.
Q: How are SSWG clustered?
A: SSWGs are clustered based on geographical proximity. Buildings that are geographically isolated from other buildings are grouped with the SSWG cluster closest to them, so that the benefits of networking and pooling of resources can be reaped.
Q: How are the SSWGs formed?
A: SSWGs are formed by individual Neighbourhood Police Centres (NPCs), comprising buildings under the jurisdiction of the NPC.
For businesses with multiple premises, each individual premises could be members of different SSWGs, since each business site would have security and target hardening concerns unique to its location.
Once a SSWG is formed, a committee will be formed where representatives of each building are either the building owners or managing agents who are in-charge of the overall security and management of the premises. Representatives should not be at such a senior level that they do not have any knowledge on the day-to-day running of the building. Key tenants of some of the premises are also invited to be part of the SSWG committee.
Every SSWG has a SSWG Police Liaison Officer (PLO) assigned to work with the building management and security personnel of the building as well as the major tenants.
Q: What are the benefits of joining the SSWG Scheme?
A: These are some benefits of joining the SSWG Scheme.
1. Networking with Neighbouring Buildings and Police
SSWGs serve as platforms for building managers/owners and security personnel to work together with Police in local threat assessment and security enhancement.
Through knowledge sharing, sharing of best practices and pooling of resources, the SSWGs can more effectively harden their member buildings as terrorist targets. The SSWGs also serve as a means for buildings to provide feedback to security agencies on how the partnership between the public and private sector in countering the terrorist threat can be enhanced. In addition to countering terrorism, the greater networking between the various stakeholders will also enable the SSWG members to better address crime concerns in the area.
2. Security Surveys
SSWG Police Liaison Officers (PLO) work with the building security managers to conduct security surveys of the building premises. Through the conduct of these security surveys, security vulnerabilities of the buildings can be identified and addressed accordingly. The security surveys are intended to be a preliminary assessment. Building management should follow-up to engage professional security consultants to provide a more comprehensive level of security assessment.
3. Corporate First Responder (CFR) Scheme
The Corporate First Responder (CFR) Scheme allows buildings management and tenant businesses to identify key personnel who will be allowed into the cordoned area in the aftermath of a major incident to assist with rescue, recovery and investigation efforts, as well as carry out business continuity activity. Please see below for more information about the CFR Scheme.
4. Project Guardian (PG) Scheme
Project Guardian is a public-private partnership to enhance the skills and capabilities of private security personnel to augment the Police in mitigating a national crisis. Under the PG scheme, SPF will work with the participating SSWG members to raise the awareness of their security personnel to crime and counter terrorism. Security personnel will also be given the opportunity to attend workshops and participate in joint ground deployment exercises to test their responses and the establishments’ contingency plans. Please see below for more information about the PG Scheme.
Q: What are the activities of SSWG?
A: The SSWG, comprising representatives of SSWG member buildings, meet regularly to discuss and share safety and security concerns. SPF and SCDF also organize training, seminar or workshops where industry speakers and relevant agencies brief the SSWG members on relevant topics such as building safety and security, business continuity planning, and sharing of best practices.
Q: How do I register my building or my businesses on the SSWG Scheme?
A: If you are a building manager / owner, please contact your nearest Neighbourhood Police Centre (NPC) to register your interest.
If you are a tenant within a building, please contact your building management to find out how you can participate in SSWG activities. If your building is currently not a SSWG member building, please encourage your building management to participate in the scheme. There is no membership fee required to participate in the SSWG Scheme.
Resources on SSWG
Corporate First Responder Scheme
In the aftermath of a disaster such as a terror attack or the collapse of a building, the incident site and surrounding buildings would be cordoned off. Access to the incident site is restricted to authorised emergency personnel such as the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) and Singapore Police Force (SPF) who carry out rescue and recovery as well as investigation operations. However, business recovery and continuity is often contingent on access to business premises after the incident.
The Corporate First Responder (CFR) Scheme aims to forge a “win-win” partnership between the Government and the business community by allowing identified personnel from the business community access into the restricted cordoned area to aid rescue and recovery efforts as well as facilitate business continuity recovery plans.
For communication on the CFR Scheme, the following nomenclature will apply:
• Buildings participating in the CFR Scheme are referred to as “CFR member buildings”.
• Organisations (building management or building tenant) participating in the CFR Scheme are referred to as “CFR Members”.
• CFR Member personnel are referred to as “CFRs”.
Q: Who should join the CFR Scheme?
A: CFR Scheme is only applicable to SSWG member buildings. Building tenants can check with their building management to determine if their building is a SSWG member building.
Number of Corporate First Responders For all CFR Members, 10% of the employees may be appointed as CFRs and receive passes, but a maximum of 10 CFR Cordon Passes will be issued to building tenants and a maximum of 15 CFR Cordon Passes will be issued to building management. 2 passes will be issued to organisations with less than 20 employees upon request. The maximum number of CFRs permitted in relation to the number of full-time employees is illustrated below:
Each appointed CFR will be issued with a personalised photo CFR Cordon Pass that is non-transferable. Particulars of the organisation management, the individual appointed CFRs and a few other key building personnel will be registered with SPF during the registration process. Should there be any changes in any of the above personnel, SPF must be informed immediately. CFR Cordon Passes will be issued to newly-appointed CFRs, as necessary. CFR Cordon Passes of personnel no longer serving as CFRs must be surrendered to SPF before new passes are issued.
Q: What are the benefits of joining the CFR Scheme?
A: CFR Members would be granted access to restricted sites post-incident when safety permits, even while rescue, recovery and post-incident investigation activities are ongoing. This enables participants in the scheme to sustain essential business functions and take mitigation measures that will help maintain the businesses’ viability after the incident. CFR members, as well as other key building personnel with local knowledge of the premises, systems and processes, may also be called upon to assist SCDF emergency responders in rescue and recovery operations and SPF in investigations.
Q: How much does it cost to join the CFR Scheme?
A: There is no membership fee required to participate in the CFR Scheme. CFR Cordon Passes are issued at no charge upon registration, but a fee will be charged to replace lost or damaged passes.
Q: What is the validity of the CFR membership?
A: Upon joining the CFR Scheme, the membership is valid as long as the organisation’s building is part of the SSWG Scheme. Should a building tenant move to different premises, SPF should be informed so that the CFR membership information can be registered to the new SSWG, where applicable.
Q: Who are the personnel involved under the CFR Scheme?
A: The key personnel under the CFR Scheme are:
1. CFR Member Personnel Corporate First Responder Team
2. Building Personnel CFR Building Liaison (BL) / Alternate CFR BL
3. Police Personnel CFR Police Liaison Officer (PLO)
Q: What are the roles of the key personnel under the CFR Scheme?
1. CFR Member Personnel Corporate First Responder Team Every organisation participating in the CFR Scheme would be required to form a Corporate First Responder Team. The CFR Team should be made up of pre-identified
· Assist SCDF with Rescue Operations In addition to the assistance of Fire Safety Managers (FSMs) and Mechanical & Electrical (M&E) engineers, other personnel and key support staff from building tenants with intimate knowledge of the premises, systems and processes may also be requested to provide information and assistance to the rescue effort.
· Assist SPF with Investigations Police investigations into a major incident will draw on both forensic evidence and eye-witness accounts. The evidence and information-gathering effort would be further aided by the presence of personnel from both the building management and building tenants.
· Carry out Business Continuity Activity The team composition would depend on the business continuity plan derived from the said organisation’s analysis of its critical functions. As a general guideline, given that the duration of access to the incident site might be limited, immediate needs would be activities such as damage assessment, technology shutdowns, and critical data and document removal. However, if the safety and security situation permits, prolonged access to the incident site would be permitted. CFRs would comprise senior management staff and any other person that the organisation considers critical to business recovery, and could include non-permanent staff such as approved service providers / vendors who are essential to immediate business recovery needs.
2. Building Personnel CFR Building Liaison (BL) / Alternate CFR BL Every CFR member building is required to nominate a CFR Building Liaison (BL). The roles and responsibilities of the CFR BL are:
· To be the main point of contact between SPF, the building management and the building tenants on all matters related to the CFR Scheme, both during peacetime and emergency/post-incident situations;
· To manage the CFR Scheme registration process for the building management as well as the building tenants;
· To ensure that all CFRs are familiar with the workings of the CFR Scheme; and
· To maintain the integrity, accuracy and currency of CFR information for SPF’s CFR database.
Each participating organisation must also nominate an alternate CFR BL whose contact information should also be provided to SPF, to be contacted and to assume the CFR BL’s duties if the primary CFR BL is unavailable.
3. Police Personnel CFR Police Liaison Officer (PLO) The CFR PLOs, usually the Community Policing Officers (CPUs) from the nearest NPC who are concurrently the SSWG PLOs, will communicate with CFR BLs and Alternate CFR BLs on issues relating to the CFR Scheme.
Q: What is the CFR Cordon Pass?
A: The CFR Cordon Passes, bearing the CFR's photo, CFR member name, NRIC/FIN, designation, and address, is an access permit that allows CFR into the cordoned area.
The guidelines on the CFR Cordon Pass usage are as follows:
· The CFR Cordon Pass must be worn at all times when within the cordon;
· The CFR Cordon Pass must be shown for inspection upon request by SPF officers within the cordon;
· Each CFR Cordon Pass allows only the CFR whose name and particulars are stated on the pass to enter the cordon;
· Access is permitted to the building and unit stated on the CFR Cordon Pass only;
· The CFR Cordon Pass must be produced together with authorised photo ID (NRIC, passport) for verification at the Reporting Point before entry is permitted; and
· The CFR Cordon Pass will be scanned at the cordon access point to register every entry and departure of the CFRs in the cordon access system.
CFR Cordon Passes are issued at no charge. Issuance of replacement CFR Cordon Passes due to CFR re-appointment, staff turnover and change in CFR / CFR Member information will be at no charge. However, the cost of the replacement of lost passes will be borne by the CFR Member. It is the responsibility of the CFR Member to report to Police, through the BL, any lost CFR Cordon Passes or apply for replacement CFR Cordon Passes.
Q: Which areas within the cordon can I access as a CFR?
A: The incident site will be cordoned off while rescue operations are underway. Access to the building(s) directly affected by the incident will continue to be restricted. CFRs will be permitted access to the surrounding unaffected buildings that are within the cordoned area, depending on the situation. Factors such as safety and Home Team operations will be taken into consideration. Approval and extent of access is at the discretion of SPF and SCDF ground commanders. Note that individual CFR access within the cordon is restricted to the building stated on the CFR Cordon Pass.
Q: How will CFRs be activated?
A: SCDF will assess the necessity to activate CFRs who can assist in rescue operations whereas SPF will assess the need for CFRs who can assist with investigation operations and thereafter activate them.
CFRs who carry out business continuity activities would not be automatically activated immediately after an incident occurs and are not expected to be activated in the few hours following the incident. Therefore, CFRs should not to rush to the scene once the incident occurs to prevent unnecessary congestion on-site.
CFRs will be activated via Short Message System (SMS) and the Building Liaisons of the affected areas.
Q: What should CFR Member organisations do when CFRs are activated?
A: When CFRs are activated, the CFR Member will be informed to select and send suitable designated number of CFR representatives to attend a Police CFR briefing. The briefing, covering on issues like expected CFR access time and duration, location of Reporting Point and Access Point, orientation of incident site and safety procedures, for affected CFR Member organisations will be held prior to the approved CFR access time. Thereafter, the representatives who have attended the briefing will be responsible to disseminate the information to all CFRs in their respective organisations.
Note that the information would be accurate at the time of briefing only, as the ground situation could be volatile. Subsequent to the briefing, updates will be sent via SMS or other means through the Building Liaisons. All CFRs are assumed to be aware of the updated information when they enter the cordon.
Q: How do CFRs access the cordon?
A: When CFRs descend onto the scene, they will be directed to the designated Reporting Point (RP) where they are required to produce the pre-issued CFR Cordon Pass and photo ID for verification using the cordon access system. Upon verification, CFRs will be directed to the cordon access point to register the CFRs’ entry into the cordon. The same procedure will apply to register the CFRs’ departure from the cordon.
Q: How will CFRs be notified if there is a need to evacuate the cordon?
A: At any point in time when the CFRs are in the cordoned areas, a situation might arise that would warrant withdrawal by the CFRs, e.g. a neighbouring building previously assessed to be structurally safe could be re-assessed to be structurally unsafe due to changing conditions, putting other buildings at risk.
CFRs will be notified to evacuate from their buildings using building public address systems, fire alarm, via the CFR BLs or other means. Information on the actual evacuation notification process will be disseminated during the CFR briefing and at the Reporting Point where verification takes place.
This evacuation should be carried as per usual fire evacuation procedure in an orderly fashion. Police officers will be on-hand to facilitate any evacuation.
Q: I am a building manager/owner. How do I register my building on the CFR Scheme?
A: If a building is a SSWG member building, building managers/owners simply need to complete the CFR Building Management Registration Form (1 per building) and Individual CFR Registration Forms (1 per appointed CFR), and submit the forms to their SSWG Police Liaison Officer.
If a building is not a SSWG member building, the building management/owner is required to participate in the SSWG Scheme before registration on the CFR Scheme is possible.
Q: I am a building tenant. How do I register my business on the CFR Scheme?
A: If a building is a SSWG member building, building tenants simply need to complete the CFR Building Tenant Registration Form (1 per tenant) and Individual CFR Registration Forms (1 per appointed CFR), and submit it to the building management. Building management should then submit the CFR Building Management Registration Form with the collated CFR Building Tenant Registration Forms and Individual CFR Registration Forms to their SSWG Police Liaison Officer.
If a building is not a SSWG member building, the building management/owner is required to participate in the SSWG Scheme before registration on the CFR Scheme is possible.
Q: How can I download information on the Corporate First Responder (CFR) Scheme?
A: You can download information on the Corporate First Responder (CFR) Scheme by clicking here.
Q: What are the registration documents to be submitted?
|Building Management Registration Form||To register information on the building and Building Liaisons/Alternate Building Liaisons||Building manager to complete form and appoint Building Liaisons/Alternate Building Liaisons|
|Building Tenant Registration Form||To register information on building tenant and building tenant management||
|Individual CFR Registration Form||To register information on individual appointed CFRs||
|Indemnity Form||To register information on individual appointed CFRs||
Project Guardian Scheme
Project Guardian is a public-private partnership to enhance the skills and capabilities of private security personnel to augment the Police in response to a crisis. The aims of PG are to:
• Raise awareness and seek solutions to current terrorist and crime issues;
• Share and gather intelligence and information;
• Build and maintain effective working relationships;
• Maintain public trust and confidence through extended security presence
• Facilitate community ownership in security especially in the immediate response to crisis
Under the PG scheme, SPF will collaborate with private security agencies and participating SSWG members to reach out to their security personnel to heighten their awareness on crime and counter terrorism. Security personnel will be given the opportunity to attend workshops and participate in joint ground deployment exercises to test their responses and the establishments’ contingency plans in simulated attack scenarios. For instance, “Exercise Heartbeat” is an annual collaborative exercise between the Home Team and the SSWG in dealing with terrorist attacks.
Equipped with the necessary knowledge and a vigilant mind-set, these security personnel are better able to take charge during a crisis situation before the arrival of the authorities, and provide the necessary support in these functions effectively:
• Cordon Support
• Crowd Control
• Traffic Diversion
• Emergency Communications
National Safety and Security Watch Group Award
The National Safety and Security Watch Group (SSWG) Award is a biennial event introduced in 2009 to recognize Safety and Security Watch Group (SSWG) members for their exceptional efforts on premise safety and security at the national level. The award has also garnered interest of non-SSWG members and encouraged them to actively join the scheme and participate in SSWG activities. Motivated members taking ownership and practicing a proactive approach towards their premise’s safety and security have contributed significantly to the safety and security of Singapore. To many SSWG members, qualifying for the award is a prestigious and remarkable organizational achievement.
National Safety and Security Watch Group (NSSWG) Awards 2020
Assessment Period: 1 January 2018 - 31 Dec 2019
Submission of Nomination: Early March 2020
Event: November 2020
Click here for the latest version of the self-assessment checklist.