More fights, thefts and molest cases at public entertainment outlets with nightlife activities resuming: Police

The police are seeing more cases of fights, thefts and outrage of modesty at public entertainment outlets with the post-pandemic resumption of nightlife activities.

On Thursday (Jan 19), the Singapore Police Force (SPF) launched the Smart Clubbing Campaign (SCC) 2023 to highlight how safe clubbing is a shared responsibility among revellers and public entertainment outlets.

The event, held at Marquee Singapore in Marina Bay Sands, was graced by guest-of-honour Ms Sun Xueling, Minister of State for Home Affairs and Social and Family Development.

The police said: "With the public entertainment landscape regaining vibrance as we emerge from the shadows of the Covid-19 pandemic, SCC 2023 is a timely reminder that a safe clubbing experience is the shared responsibility of public entertainment outlets and patrons.

"Therefore, the tagline for this year's campaign is 'Safe Clubbing – A Shared Responsibility of Smart Clubs and Smart Clubbers'."

SCC 2023 comprises of three components.

For one, as part of recommended best practices, public entertainment outlets must continue to comply with licensing conditions and work with the police to:

  • Keep illicit activities like vice at bay;

  • Prevent crimes such as outrage of modesty and fights from happening in and around the vicinity of the outlets; and

  • Prevent overcrowding and ensure public safety.

During the launch, the police also screened a video demonstrating how patrons and outlets can come together to create a safe clubbing experience.

Video: Singapore Police Force

Public entertainment outlets can adopt the recommended practices of a smart club, which need not entail high business costs, noted the video.

These features include enhancing the training of security staff and identification checks, as well as how outlets can deal with common incidents or intoxicated patrons within their premises.

Two local nightlife spots, Marquee and Luxe, also shared how the campaign can lead to win-win outcomes for both the outlets and their patrons.

Mr Saleem Shah, manager of Luxe Club, noted that nightlife establishments "are obliged to educate the dos and don'ts" of clubbing, especially for newer generations of party-goers who did not experience clubbing before the pandemic hit.

Meanwhile, Marquee manager Mr Don Ezra Nicholas said the club has enforced best practices since its opening in 2019. These include having a paramedic team on standby and using technology to conduct age verification checks.

"With these measures, we are able to ensure our clubbers have a safe clubbing experience," he added.

Secondly, the campaign reminds patrons to be smart clubbers by being mindful of the consequences of their actions, and by drinking and behaving responsibly.

"Patrons must bear in mind that alcohol consumption is a choice and when crimes are committed, being drunk is likely regarded as an aggravating factor and not a mitigating, factor," said the police.

"Refreshed designs for posters, stickers and coasters will be distributed to stakeholders and community partners for them to display at their premises. They serve as reminders to patrons not to fight, not to steal and not to touch and that there are stern criminal consequences should they do so."

Thirdly, the police will continue to do their part by conducting regular checks on public entertainment outlets and will not hesitate to take strict enforcement action against both errant outlets and patrons who commit crimes.

They added: "In particular, those who commit outrage of modesty or are part of fights will be dealt with sternly."

Additionally, more surveillance cameras will be deployed to enhance police presence at crime hotspots associated with public entertainment outlets. These cameras come with visual and audio broadcasting to remind patrons to abide by the law.

Deputy Commander of Central Police Division and Deputy Assistant Commissioner of Police Paul Tay said: "Today's event marks the third edition of our Smart Clubbing Campaign.

"Since the resumption of nightlife activities post-pandemic, we are seeing more cases of fights, outrage of modesty and theft at public entertainment outlets.

"Through the campaign, we hope to bring across the message that it is the shared responsibility of club operators and patrons to create a safe clubbing experience for all.”

Both patrons and outlets are encouraged to do their part to keep Singapore's public entertainment landscape vibrant but also safe, secure and orderly.