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Armed police patrols on MRT trains from today

Source: www.mha.gov.sg

Oral Answer to Parliamentary Question for MHA during Parliament Sitting on the standard operating procedures for the new Police MRT units, particularly with regard to their patrols of MRT stations and other public areas and the use of firearms in these places
Dr Chong Weng Chiew:
To ask the Minister for Home Affairs what are the standard operating procedures for the new Police MRT units, particularly with regard to their patrols of MRT stations and other public areas and the use of firearms in these places.
Answer:
Police has deployed dedicated armed officers at Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) stations and on board trains starting from today.
The mission of the new Police MRT Unit is to deter and detect potential terrorist attacks in the MRT through armed police presence, high visibility patrols and security checks.
The deployment of Police officers at MRT stations is not a new initiative. Since 9-11, Police have increased patrols at MRT stations as well as places where there are large crowds.
However, the skills required for the MRT Unit officers are distinct from those of the NPC officers. They will be equipped with specialised skills and knowledge to handle typical incidents in MRT stations for example, response to Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), bomb hoaxes, suicide, molest and pick-pocket, to conduct searches of persons, buildings and vehicles.
The dedicated Police MRT Unit will complement the existing security measures adopted by the two MRT operators, which include the use of surveillance CCTVs and the deployment of private security guards.
Officers from the Police MRT Unit will concentrate primarily on security duties and be on the lookout for suspicious persons and items. However, the officers will also respond to a crime report and apprehend the suspect at the scene if possible
The officers will be equipped with revolvers. The rules of engagement on the use of firearms are similar to other police officers from the Police Divisions or the Neighbourhood Police Centres.
This is governed by the SPF's Use of Force and Firearms Doctrine. Under this Doctrine, if an officer is confronted with a situation where there is immediate danger to life, he is authorized to use the necessary force to remove the danger, and this may extend to the use of firearms.
Let me reiterate that implementing enhanced Police measures on the MRT system is not an indication of a specific threat against the MRT or any public transport infrastructure. Rather, it is part of our ongoing efforts to keep Singapore safe and secure. Members of public are advised not to be alarmed and to continue to be vigilant.

Source: www.mha.gov.sg News Release 15 Aug 2005

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Monday

15 August 2005