SMRT Train At Bishan Bus Depot Vandalised

SINGAPORE: Bishan train depot has been hit by its third case of vandalism.

The Land Transport Authority said graffiti was discovered on the exterior of an SMRT train early Saturday morning (Nov 8). It is the second incident to take place at the depot, in just over six months.

Staff discovered that a train was spray-painted with graffiti, before it was put into service. Police said they were alerted to the incident at about 6.40am. LTA said it takes a serious view of the matter and is working with the police and SMRT on the investigations.

The latest incident comes on the back of a similar case in May this year. Back then, a red scrawl with traces of white – measuring three metres long and one metre high – was found on a train’s middle carriage. In August 2011, a train at the depot was also vandalised.

“I feel quite annoyed. I think security at train depots must be tightened up. This is not the first time, it has happened so we need to understand why – despite the increase in security, the vandalism still took place,” said Lim Biow Chuan, member of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Transport. “What actually is of concern is that people can break in and we do not know whether there can be sabotage of trains or not. So we are not just talking about vandalism, but potential breach in security.”

“I think SMRT should be able to react fast enough to make sure the culprits are apprehended from doing more than what they have done,” he added. “And I do hope the culprits are caught because I do not agree with this kind of behaviour. Vandalism is absolutely not acceptable.”

The latest incident marks the fourth vandalism case involving the train operator. SMRT has stepped up its security measures at its depots since the first case of vandalism in May 2010, in which vandals cut through a fence and left their mark on the trains at the depot in Changi.

Since then, the number of security personnel and frequency of patrols were increased. The train operator has already been fined a total of S$250,000 for the first two breaches in 2010 and 2011.

The Land Transport Authority said following earlier incidents of security breach, the public transport operators have taken steps to enhance the security at the train depots. These include increasing the number of security personnel and frequency of security patrols at the depot, as well as installation of concertina wires to reinforce certain stretches of the perimeter fencing.

LTA added that the latest incident shows that security threats continue to evolve and agencies will continue to work to address security challenges faced.



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