- POSTED: 12 Dec 2013 18:19
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Police have declared Little India a proclaimed area under the Public Order (Preservation) Act for this weekend. This means that police officers can take action against anyone who consumes alcohol in a public place within the affected areas, and this includes seizing the alcohol.
SINGAPORE: Police have declared Little India a proclaimed area under the Public Order (Preservation) Act for this weekend.
This means that police officers can take action against anyone who consumes alcohol in a public place within the affected areas, and this includes seizing the alcohol.
Police said this is aimed at stabilising the situation at Little India following last Sunday's riots.
From Hampshire Road to Short Street, and from Jalan Besar Road to Dorset Road -- these are the areas which the police have demarcated for the ban on the sale and consumption of alcohol this weekend.
Singapore Police Force’s Deputy Commissioner of Police T Raja Kumar said: "We have decided to demarcate the immediate vicinity of Race Course Road as a no-alcohol-consumption area for this coming weekend.
"We want to calm the situation and make sure we don't have cases of drunkenness that would spiral out of control and into a riot."
The suspension of alcohol sales will affect some 374 stakeholders and establishments within the vicinity, including MacKenzie Road, Race Course Road, Farrer Park Road and Petain Road among others.
Affected establishments include liquor shops, restaurants, pubs, coffee shops, convenience stores and hotels.
Guests at one hotel, Parkroyal on Kitchener Road, said they were unaware of this ban.
Kalisito Raduva, a hotel guest, said: "I wasn't aware of it (Little India riot), but after the situation, we were kind of worried as foreigners here, but then I think it's under control.
"I think if they really want to impose such things (alcohol ban), it's best for them to put it up on the website or put out in the news."
Another hotel guest, Vivek Gupta, said: "If it's just the hotel ban, then I think it's the duty of the hotel to inform the guests when they check in that there's a ban on the weekend."
Suthahar, also a hotel guest, said: "Looking at the circumstances, I think it's quite understandable. I think it's for the greater good, I suppose, so if someone needs to have a drink, they can go elsewhere. Personally, I don't mind because I can go elsewhere if I want to.”
In a written reply to Channel NewsAsia, Parkroyal on Kitchener Road said that it would place a letter in all rooms informing their guests of this temporary alcohol ban, and will also display notices in its various restaurants and bars such as Chances Lounge, Spice Brasserie, Si Chuan Dou Hua Restaurant, Orchid Club Lounge and the Pool Bar.
Alcohol will also be removed from the hotel's in-room mini bars.
Police have assured the public that there will not be immediate arrests of people found consuming alcohol within the area, but the alcohol will be seized in the first instance.
However, in the event a person is drunk and behaves in a disorderly manner, police can arrest that person under the Miscellaneous Offences - Public Order and Nuisance - Act.
Besides the heightened police presence at Little India, 26 additional CCTVs have also been installed in the area.
In deciding the next steps after this weekend's alcohol ban, police said it would have to weigh the considerations carefully and balance the needs of the various stakeholders -- some of which may be competing.
However, the police said that even after the weekend ban, the sale and consumption of alcohol in the vicinity would most likely be restricted.
Meanwhile, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) will also be suspending on Sunday bus services which ferry foreign workers from their dormitories to Little India.
This involves two bus associations -- the Singapore School Transport Association and the Singapore School and Private Hire Bus Owners' Association -- which in total provide 25 bus services plying those routes.
Going forward, it will assess if there is a need to suspend or scale back these bus services.
LTA said it has bus and train services on standby to accommodate crowds that wish to travel to Little India this weekend.