Maids act as eyes and ears against crime

There have been fewer house break-ins, but police are not letting up and are roping in maids as extra eyes and ears in private housing estates to look out for suspicious people and activities.

This comes after moves by the police in recent months to enlist the help of foreign workers to watch out for crime near their workplace and dormitories.

On Saturday, the police organised a Community Safety and Security Programme event at Lentor private housing estate to raise awareness of crime among maids, as well as their employers and family members.

This included teaching maids what physical traits of suspicious people to take note of that would help police investigations.

Ang Mo Kio North Neighbourhood Police Centre (NPC) organised the event, called Domestic Eyes On Alert, with Lentor Neighbourhood Committee and Yio Chu Kang Community Centre. The NPC will review the programme before considering extending it to other private estates under it, such as Sunrise and Thomson Hills estates.

The police said maids could help one another to look out for criminals who are often opportunistic and known to conduct reconnaissance in the day before striking.

"By training and equipping foreign domestic helpers with the necessary crime-prevention information to enhance their vigilance, the overall security of their neighbourhood could be raised," said the police.

Saturday's programme was attended by about 300 people, including 78 maids.

Mr Ng Kang Ming, 33, a Lentor resident and member of the Lentor Neighbourhood Committee, said the estate was generally safe, but residents wanted the estate to be even safer, following house break-ins elsewhere.

Mr Ng, who works in the IT sector, added that the police have recently been sharing with residents the new ways that crooks are using to break into homes.

In the first half of this year, there were 252 house-breaking and related crimes, down 24.3 per cent from a year ago.

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