Many flout Little India liquor restrictions

Many flout Little India liquor restrictions
A camera and signboards on alcohol restrictions at the corner of Kerbau Road and Chander Road. Hundreds of such signboards have been put up.

Between April 1 and Nov 30, 300 people were caught drinking in public outside of permitted hours in Little India.

Most of those caught flouting the rules, instituted after a riot in the area a year ago, were foreign workers, who flock to Little India on their days off.

First-time offenders face a fine of up to $1,000. Subsequent convictions carry a maximum $2,000 fine and three months behind bars. It is not known how many were penalised.

Commanding officer of the Rochor Neighbourhood Police Centre, Deputy Superintendent Ho See Ying, also said during a site visit to Little India yesterday that four business outlets were found to have committed liquor licensing breaches in the same period.

As part of the temporary measures introduced to curb excessive drinking in Little India, the retail sale of alcohol is banned from 8pm till 6am on weekends, and on the eve of public holidays and public holidays.

Flouting the rule can earn businesses a fine of up to $5,000.

Alcohol consumption is banned in public places from 6am on Saturday to 6am on Monday, and from 6am on the eve of public holidays to 6am on the day after the holiday. But people may drink in restaurants holding public house and beer house licences.

The measures were passed in Parliament following Singapore's worst public order disturbance in 40 years, in which 54 responding officers were injured and 23 emergency vehicles damaged on Dec 8 last year.

In January, two men were fined $4,000 each for selling alcohol illegally after the riot, when alcohol sales were banned for a spell.

To beef up security in the area, police worked with government agencies to install 43 surveillance cameras in crowded places.

More than 100 new street lamps were added in 42 sites including the alleys, back lanes and places where people gather on Kinta, Kerbau and Race Course roads, among others. Hundreds of signboards in Little India denoting "no drinking zone", and giving details on the alcohol restrictions, were put up too.

DSP Ho said the police would continue to monitor the situation and calibrate the measures accordingly.

The Ministry of Home Affairs plans to announce new liquor control measures in the first quarter of next year.

limyihan@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on Dec 5, 2014.
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