Cisco guards, steel fences, intrusion detection system

Cisco guards, steel fences, intrusion detection system

SINGAPORE - The surveillance of about 100 SMRT stations and depots has been taken over by security bigwig Certis Cisco, as part of a slew of measures by the rail operator to prevent a recurrence of high-profile and costly lapses in recent years.

Cisco, which also serves Changi Airport and national water agency PUB, was roped in by SMRT last year and it completed its security takeover recently, The Straits Times found out.

The firm, which has invested heavily in technology over the years, provides clients with round-the-clock monitoring of premises from its Paya Lebar headquarters.

It was awarded the SMRT contract, following security breaches at two depots.

The first was in May 2010 when two vandals cut through the fence of SMRT's Changi Depot and spray-painted graffiti on one side of a train.

A year later in August 2011, a hole was cut in the fence at the Bishan Depot, and the words "Jet Setter's" were spray-painted on one of the trains.

These breaches cost SMRT about $250,000 in fines imposed by the Land Transport Authority.

Before the incidents, the rail operator had engaged two separate security firms: EVTEC Management Services for surveillance of its four depots and North Bridge headquarters, and G4S (Singapore) for its MRT stations.

When contacted, an SMRT spokesman confirmed Cisco's appointment but declined to say more.

The security firm did not comment, citing client confidentiality.

Apart from hiring Certis Cisco, SMRT has also taken other steps to beef up security.

Reinforced steel fences have been erected around the Ulu Pandan, Bishan and Changi depots. The fourth depot in Kim Chuan is underground.

A new Fence Intrusion Detection System is now in place at the three depots. The project includes installation of more lights and surveillance cameras, to enable security staff to pinpoint the exact location of an intrusion and capture it on video.

SMRT has also strengthened its internal security division.

Just before the Bishan incident, Mr Patrick Na-than, a former army officer and national security specialist, was hired to head the security and emergency planning department.

Sources said that as part of an internal shuffle, his role will be taken over by another ex-army officer, Mr Anson Lim. SMRT declined to comment on this.

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