27 August 2014

Security Industry Conference & Safety and Security Asia 2014 at Marina Bay Sands – Speech by Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs and Foreign Affairs

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

Introduction

Good morning. I am pleased to join you here at the Security Industry Conference and the Safety and Security Asia exhibition 2014 .1

2.             We are all gathered here because it is our shared aim to keep Singapore safe and secure. Events like these are important because they provide important platforms for security experts, professionals and technology domains to come together. I hope through this they will share the best practices and they will forge strategic relationships. I understand we will also see at the exhibition, an extensive array of new technologies, solutions, products and services catering to the safety and security sectors. Indeed the security industry is, and will be undergoing tremendous transformation and changes, and I hope our industry is up to speed in this.

3.              Last year, I spoke on harnessing technology and innovation for a safer and more secure environment, and the need for businesses and industry players to be geared up, especially for emergencies.  The theme for this year’s conference is “Leveraging Technology & Information for Better Security”. It reiterates the importance of leveraging technology to complement the security officers’ productivity, especially amidst challenges of a shrinking manpower pool which we are all facing, not just in this industry but in every industry that Singapore is in.

Harnessing Technology

4.               We know many security agencies are looking at ways to provide their security officers with better pay and working environments, so as to attract people to join the industry, as well as retain those who have already joined. However, these efforts need to be complemented both with professionalising this profession as well as using technology effectively, to ensure that the industry keeps pace with security demands of our country.

5.           Let me give you an example, today CCTVs have become an essential monitoring system that allows security companies to further improve their security plans and deployment strategies. They can give better surveillance, and they can track of premises and resources. This can lead to manpower savings as well as improvement in threat detection. A good example to illustrate this is the Singapore Police Force’s POLCAM initiative.  The cameras have already shown positive results. They deter and they solve crimes in public housing estates. Unlicensed Moneylending (UML) activities have gone down by more than half, because of the presence of such CCTVs in our HDB estates. Security agencies can also leverage a vast array of CCTV technologies to improve the security of private estates and reap productivity gains. 

6.            During the conference, representatives from the Police will share with you the Video Surveillance Standards for CCTVs. It is important to adopt these standards so that the CCTVs capture good images which can be used for effective monitoring and crime solving.

7.             Let me give you another example – Rentsec’s remote monitoring technology. Rentsec is a security agency that operates in South Africa which adopts remote monitoring technology, and relies on cameras and motion detectors to alert off-site operators of any premise intrusions. Once alerted, operators are able to warn the suspected intruders through a loudspeaker. This usually already stops the intruders from attacking or entering the premises. However, should the intruder persist, smoke release systems are activated to stall the intruders, while officers will be despatched to the scene to investigate.  In this way, Rentsec is able to achieve its security outcomes while reducing its reliance on manpower alone. 

8.              I hope that through this conference and exhibition, you will find many more ways to synergise the resources you have with the technology available and the technology available in the future, to find more innovative ways for security work to be done effectively.

Training

9.             Other than employing technology, we also need to ensure that security officers continue to have the relevant skills and proficiency to deal with a very complex environment.

10.          The SII offers Security Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) training and job assistance for those interested to work in the security industry. Alternatively, individuals can take up Security WSQ training from other approved training organisations supported by the WDA.

11.          The Security WSQ framework was developed by WDA in 2007 in consultation with security industry partners, as well as with the Police force. The framework provides up-to-date and comprehensive skills training for security personnel. To date, more than 3,500 security personnel have been awarded with technology-related Security WSQ Statements of Attainment, and about 70,000 security personnel have benefitted from training under this framework.

12.           One such person who has benefitted from this training is Ms Siti Badariah Bintie Abu Bakar. Siti joined Soverus Pte Ltd, a Security Solutions Provider in 2011 and started her career there as a security roving supervisor. With the support of her employer, Siti took up various courses under the Security WSQ framework, and has since progressed in her career and received several accolades. 

13.             You may be aware that the Security Tripartite Cluster (STC), comprising unions, associations, stakeholders and regulators of the security industry, has announced plans recently to introduce a progressive wage model that is tied to career progression. This will formalise a structured progression pathway that provides even more opportunities for skills and career advancement for security officers.

14.                 As the STC finalises its model, I urge all agencies to continue to invest in training for their officers so that their skills remain relevant and up-to-date. We believe that highly-skilled officers will raise the demand for security services, which in turn raises wages for security officers. 

Conclusion

15.               The private security sector plays a significant role in supporting the work of Home Team. They contribute to keeping Singapore safe and secure. I am pleased to see security professionals take this very seriously, whether they are from the public or private sectors. They are here today also, to share with each other best practices, become good partners, and find even better ways to work together. Let me congratulate all of you for coming together, working together to make Singapore safe and secure.

16.             I would also like to congratulate the industry players who have been awarded the Merlion Awards for their innovative contributions to enhance safety and security. They are a role model for us to explore new technologies in security work.

17.            In conclusion, let me wish everyone a fruitful and enriching event ahead.

18.            Thank you.


 1The Security Industry Conference is jointly organised by the Security Industry Institute (SII) and ASIS Singapore, and the Safety and Security Asia exhibition 2014 is presented by the Conference and Exhibition Management Services (CEMS) and hosted by Security Systems Association of Singapore (SSAS).