SINGAPORE: More conservancy workers have been trained to help make the estates safer.
Since 2008, about 270 workers in the the east have gone through a half—day training workshop named "Workers—on—Watch".
The programme teaches conservancy workers to recognise suspicious characters or activities and to report this to the police. In the last few years, some have helped to detect hidden contraband cigarettes, and even resolve neighbourhood littering issues.
The workshop was organised by Bedok Police Division, with support from the Singapore Civil Defence Force, Singapore Customs and National Crime Prevention Council.
Masud Rana, a conservancy worker at Tampines said he has worked in the area for seven years, so he is familiar with the people there. He said this has enabled him to identify suspicious characters easily.
The programme started at the East Coast Town Council in 2008, with 30 workers, and has been expanded to four more town councils — Tampines, Marine Parade, Pasir Ris—Punggol and Moulmein—Kallang.
The programme was expanded to Tampines in February 2010.
Superintendent Lum Hock Meng said: "Conservancy workers are part of the community and they are around during the day when they go about doing their work, and the period of the time will be when the residents are out. We believe that conservancy workers can help keep an eye out for our neighbourhoods."
Some cleaners said they are also given incentives — like a pay increase — after attending the programme.
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