10 December 2018

Safeguarding Our Public Transport Network Together

SPF Logo

By: Irwan Shah (Photos: Public Affairs Department)


Over three million or more than half of Singapore’s population commute by public transport daily according to data.gov.sg, the government’s one-stop portal for publicly-available datasets. Hence, the safety and security of our public transport commuters are of paramount importance to the Singapore Police Force (SPF). In this issue of Police Life, we delve into the efforts of the SPF to stem Outrage of Modesty (OM) cases on public transport. We also look at how the SPF is working together with its counterparts and members of the public to prevent, deter and detect crime on our public transport network.


A Crime of Concern

Despite having one of the lowest crime rates in the world, Singapore’s public transport networks are not immune to crimes such as Insult of Modesty and OM. In particular, OM cases on public transport have been on the rise. This is a crime of concern for the SPF, and the Force has come up with a slew of measures to tackle the situation.

“The Police is closely monitoring the increase in OM cases. We will continue to step up our efforts to work closely with stakeholders and the community to prevent and deter such cases, especially in public entertainment night spots and public transport networks. Offenders will be dealt with severely in accordance with the law,” said Director of Operations Department, Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police How Kwang Hwee.


Intensifying Collaborations with our Stakeholders


The SPF’s Public Transport Security Command (TransCom) has also ramped up its efforts by working closely with Public Transport Operators (PTOs) and the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to adopt a multi-pronged approach to tackle the issue of OM. This includes putting up more OM-related crime advisory posters and specially produced videos at the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) stations, on MRT trains, bus interchanges and on public buses to raise awareness. In addition, there are also more boots on the ground from TransCom and other units during the peak periods to conduct high-visibility patrols at the MRT stations and bus interchanges.



Community Engagement

The SPF has also been working closely with members of the public to raise awareness about OM through various community engagement programmes and volunteer schemes, such as the Citizens on Patrol (COP) scheme. Established in 1999, there are currently more than 700 COP groups distributing pamphlets and sharing about crime prevention advisories with the residents in their respective communities to raise awareness of crime prevention. In addition, the COP teams also help to keep a lookout for suspicious activities and report them to the Police.

To mitigate the rise of OM cases on public transport, the COP volunteers from various SPF divisions, such as Clementi and Ang Mo Kio Division, have stepped up their efforts to include patrols at various MRT stations. The first COP MRT station patrol at Queenstown MRT station was conducted on 17 August 2018, involving both COP volunteers and police officers. As part of their patrols, the COP volunteers also distributed crime prevention pamphlets to the commuters to raise awareness against molestations on trains.



Coming Together 

As the saying goes, “Low crime doesn’t mean no crime”. Over the years, the community has played a significant part in supporting the SPF’s mission. By building a cohesive community, we can all play a part to better prevent, deter and detect crime to ensure that Singapore will continue to be one of the safest countries in the world.  

Public Spiritedness Award

The Public Spiritedness Award is presented to members of the public who have displayed courage and civic-mindedness when the situation called for it. 


On 16 August 2018, Mr Goh Tong En received the Public Spiritedness Award for assisting the Police in detaining a 27-year-old man at the Marsiling MRT Station for insulting the modesty of a woman.


Mr Goh was going up an escalator when he noticed a man placing his mobile phone underneath a woman’s skirt. He then approached the man and confronted him. The man admitted his dark intention and Mr Goh quickly alerted the station’s management office after asking a fellow commuter to watch over him. The man was detained until the TransCom officers arrived at the scene.


Do you know?


Six other members of the public have been awarded the Public Spiritedness Award in the past three months*.


Owing the close cooperation between the SPF and the community, Insult of Modesty cases are steadily dwindling with 597 cases in 2015 to 447 cases in 2017.


*Numbers collated from June 2018 to August 2018.


Last Updated on 10 December 2018