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Home Team Report Card for 2004


Excerpted from Speech by Home Affairs Minister Wong Kan Seng at Home Team Flagship Workshop 2005 on 3 Feb 2005.

"2004 has been another eventful year for the Home Team - from the emergency response actions at the Nicoll Highway collapse to the recent tsunami disaster, to continued counter-terrorism actions, even as we sustained crime-busting and drug enforcement actions, preventive programmes and rehabilitation efforts.

"The Home Team has done a good job keeping Singapore safe and secure. The crime situation remains stable and under control. The total number of seizable offences rose slightly by 3 per cent to 34,480 offences recorded.
"Much of the increase can be attributed to minor crimes, in particular theft and related offences, as well as a significant rise in drink-driving cases owing to increased enforcement efforts.
"Such offences can often be prevented if members of the public take the necessary crime prevention measures, and do not drink and drive.
"Most of the major offences such as housebreaking, robbery, rape, cheating and related offences, registered decreases.
"The drug situation has improved significantly in 2004. The total number of drug abusers arrested fell from 1,809 to 950, the first time that the number of total drug abusers has fallen below the one thousand mark. Fewer new drug abusers were also arrested, from 730 to 609 last year.
"Despite the improving drug situation, we should still be wary of synthetic drug abuse which remains an area of concern in other countries. The Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) will monitor the local drug scene closely and take decisive action against drug offenders.
"The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) attended last year to more fire incidents and Emergency Ambulance Services (EAS) cases. There were 4,916 fire incidents last year, a rise of eight per cent or 376 more cases over 2003.
"Many fire incidents could have been prevented because the bulk of fire cases last year involved rubbish and discarded items left at common residential areas.
"Last year, the SCDF attended to over 3,800 more EAS cases, bringing the total number of such cases to 82,870, as compared with 66,958 EAS cases in 2000.
"The number of EAS cases has been rising in the last few years. We cannot leave this rise unchecked because it would degrade the SCDF ambulance’s response to emergency cases. The SCDF would step up its efforts to educate the public on not to use the EAS for non-emergency cases.
"On the immigration front, enhanced security checks have enabled the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) to detect 18,255 cases of contraband smuggling. The number of illegal immigrants and overstayers arrested last year is 11,790, 60 fewer persons arrested as compared to 2003..."

Source: Ministry of Home Affairs Press Release 3 Feb 2005


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4 February 2005