One of the greatest attractions of Singapore life is the extreme safety and security, made possible in no small part by the threat of swift and serious punishment of offenders. Fines are meted out generously for even seemingly small offenses, and crimes such as theft, drug trafficking, and assault are punishable by serious jail time, corporal punishment, and death.
No city in the world is totally crime free and despite the reputation that Singapore has for being extremely safe, expats should avoid being lured into a false sense of security and should, of course, remain vigilant against theft and other crimes. Some pick pocketing happens in crowded places, and one should not leave bags or valuable belongings unattended in public places. Violent crimes such as murder and rape are extremely rare, however, and the country is generally very safe for women and ethnic and religious minorities.
There is no known risk of terrorism attacks against Western interests in Singapore, though Singapore authorities are very vigilant in policing suspicious activity. The citizenry is actively encouraged to participate in community watch programs and report suspicious activities, and Singapore authorities have strict security measures in place, including strong border controls, security and police surveillance and restrictions on access to some public venues.
Unauthorized public demonstrations are illegal in Singapore. A police permit is required for a gathering of more than four people, and anyone breaking those laws is liable to arrest and possible prosecution. Public demonstrations are permitted only at Speakers’ Corner near the CBD. Foreigners who are not permanent residents require a permit to participate in any activity at Speakers’ Corner. Organizers of illegal demonstrations face hefty fines, imprisonment and deportation.
Extremely dedicated bureaucratic units facilitate thorough inspections of public places for structural safety, food safety, cleanliness, and adherence to safety and security rules. A citizenry and government dedicated to social cooperation, civic participation, and racial harmony also lends to the overall safety and security.
Emergencies: Emergencies can be reported by calling the following telephone numbers:
- Police Emergencies – 999
- Fire & Medical Emergencies – 995
Important Safety-Related Telephone Numbers and Websites:
- Police Emergency: 999
- Police Hotline: 1800 225 0000
- Traffic Police Hotline: 1800 547 1818
- Neighborhood Police Posts.
- Industrial Accidents: 64385122
- Marine Accidents: 63252488, 63252489
- Piped Gas Leak: Tel. 995
- Non-Emergency Ambulance: Tel. 1777
- Bomb Shelter Location.
- Emergency Ambulance Services.
- Public Warning System.
- Singapore Civil Defense Force.
- Fight Against Terror.
- Reporting a Traffic Accident.