COVID-19: 12 reports of abuse so far of enforcement officers, ambassadors – police

·Editorial team
·3-min read
Enforcement officers speaking to members of the public at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park. (PHOTO: Masagos Zulkifli/Facebook)
Enforcement officers speaking to members of the public at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park. (PHOTO: Masagos Zulkifli/Facebook)

SINGAPORE — Police have received 12 reports of physical or verbal abuse of enforcement officers (EOs) as well as SG Clean and safe distancing ambassadors since the start of the circuit breaker period on 7 April.

In a joint media release by the Singapore Police Force and the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources on Friday (17 April), police said that investigations are ongoing against the offenders.

“We will not tolerate such abuse, and will take offenders to task,” the police said in the media release. “By refusing to comply with the elevated safe distancing measures, these offenders not only put themselves but others at risk.”

Instances of abuse, and how they may be punished

Instances of abuse in recent days include:

  • On Tuesday, a 35-year-old man and his 33-year-old female companion hurled vulgarities at three ambassadors who advised the man not to sit on a crossed-out seat at a hawker centre at Toa Payoh Lorong 5.

  • On Wednesday, a 72-year-old man slapped the EO who had requested for his particulars after observing that he was consuming food at a hawker centre located at 89 Circuit Road.

  • On Wednesday, a 40-year-old man head-butted the EO who had advised him to stop playing basketball at the cordoned-off Khatib Multi-Purpose Hall.

  • On Wednesday, a 79-year-old man punched the EO who had advised him to wear his face mask properly along Havelock Road.

  • On Thursday, a 37-year-old man insulted the police officer who was issuing a Notice of Composition to his female friend for not wearing a face mask while outside The Cathay.

Those found guilty of using abusive language against a public servant are liable on conviction to a jail term of up to one year and/or a fine of up to $5,000.

The offence of voluntarily causing hurt to deter a public servant from the discharge of his duty is punishable with a jail term of up to seven years, a fine and/or caning. The offence of using criminal force to deter a public servant from the discharge of his duty is punishable with a jail term of up to four years and/or a fine.

Offence not to furnish personal particulars to EOs

Since the start of the circuit breaker period on 7 April, around 3,000 EOs and ambassadors have been deployed daily to public places and in HDB estates across Singapore.

They come from around 50 public agencies and also include non-public servants recruited from the hospitality and aviation sectors, as well as volunteers recruited by the People’s Association and other government agencies.

The police would like to remind the public that it is an offence not to furnish their personal particulars and residential address when required by an EO. The public are advised to bring their identity cards or other forms of official identification with them when they leave home.

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