Remember the feeling of stepping tentatively through a metal detector, heart hammering in your chest, hoping beyond hope that the metal clasp of your belt won’t send alarms screeching through Changi Airport?
No? That’s hardly surprising, given that we hardly have reason to travel these days.
But guess what? We may have to go through that same (irrational) anxiety more often now.
From 1 April, enhanced security screening will be implemented at selected MRT stations.
Here’s all that you need to know.
Everything About the New Security Checks Like X-Ray Scans in MRT Stations That’ll Start Today (1 Apr)
According to a Facebook post by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) on Wednesday (31 Mar), these security checks include metal detector scans and X-ray scans resembling those at airports.
Security checks will be conducted at random in selected MRT stations, and equipment will be rotated across MRT stations on all lines from time to time.
This enhanced security screening operates in conjunction with the Threat-oriented Person Screening Integrated System (Topsis).
Topsis is a threat assessment programme involving the training of more than 30,000 public transport personnel in watching out for suspicious objects, people and activities.
It was announced in February 2018 that Topsis would be extended to cover “inland locations which could be attractive terrorist targets” under Topsis 2.0.
These locations include vital infrastructure as well as buildings frequented by large volumes of people, such as shopping malls.
According to ST, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, enhanced security screening took “quite some time” to be rolled out.
Previously, there had been a six-month trial of enhanced security screenings in 2019.
Selected passengers had to walk through a metal detector and place their belongings through X-ray scanners before they were allowed to pass through the fare gates.
Security checks were reported to be completed in under 30 seconds. Information obtained from the trial was used to enhance the screening process.
While some commuters felt that the security checks posed an inconvenience to their daily travel, others felt that they were not inconvenient and in fact, helped them to feel safer.
Reporting Suspicious Activity in MRT Stations
If you happen to come across any suspicious person, item or activity in an MRT station, do alert the staff present immediately or call the police.
You may also download the SGSecure app which can be used to report suspicious events.
White Powder at Woodleigh MRT Caused Station to be Shut for Three Hours
You may remember this incident back in 2017 in which Woodleigh MRT station was closed for three hours due to a mysterious white substance being found in the station.
While there were fears about whether it was some sort of harmful chemical toxin, turns out the offending item was none other than baking powder.
You can read more about the incident here.
Featured Image: Facebook (Land Transport Authority – We Keep Your World Moving )