S'pore police: Man arrested for drink driving put in holding area half the size of 3-room HDB flat

The police said it would rather not spend resources debunking false allegations.

Belmont Lay | July 06, 2021, 02:21 AM

The Singapore police have issued another point-by-point rebuttal in response to fresh allegations made by See Kian Beng, a man who was arrested for suspected drink-driving.

See has come out to reiterate his previous accusations made on June 28 and continue to accuse the authorities of abusing him while in custody.

His follow-up allegations were carried by The Online Citizen Asia, which originally reported See's accusations in a 30-minute video.

Insist he was abused

In his latest statement, See continued to assert that he had been abused.

He responded to the police statement that was issued after the TOCA video was published, which was when See's accusations against the police first surfaced.

In his response to the police statement, See claimed the following:

- He was not told why he was being arrested and had no idea he was being arrested as he was not handcuffed

- He is claustrophobic but was still held in a temporary holding area, and later in a padded cell

- He was pinned down by police who tried to move him into the padded cell

- He urinated on himself in the cell

- He was not served food

- He had to be helped out as he could not walk

- He had to shout for help at 7:30am, a few hours after his arrest, and was let out soon after

- He only received his car back after a long time

Police response

In response, the police put up another detailed statement to debunk See's version of events.

Here's what the police wrote, in full:

As we had stated in our previous statement, See had failed his first breath analyser test conducted at the police roadblock, which gave a preliminary indication of the level of alcohol in his body.

Otherwise, there would have been no grounds to arrest him, and no reason to bring him to the lock-up to be subject to a Breath Evidential Analyser (BEA) machine test for a more detailed reading.

See passed the BEA machine test, after multiple attempts, with a recorded result of 31 micrograms of alcohol in 100ml of breath, which is just below the legal limit of 35 micrograms.

It is possible for a person who fails the initial breath analyser test during checks at the roadblock to subsequently pass the BEA machine test at the police lock-up.

This is because the body will process the alcohol in a person’s bloodstream over time. The benefit of the doubt is given to the person should he pass the BEA machine test.

After See failed his breath analyser test at the roadblock, he was conveyed in a police van to the lock-up.

During this time, See was not placed in handcuffs, although he had been arrested for drink driving.

Police officers have the discretion not to apply handcuffs on a person arrested for drink driving if he is cooperative, but this does not mean that the person is not under arrest.

In fact, See’s claims that he was not told that he had failed the initial breath analyser test at the roadblock, is contrary to the accounts that he had given to the police in the course of investigations.

He had acknowledged that he had “failed” his breath analyser test at the roadblock, and hence had to be brought to the lock-up for a further test.

While being processed for admission into the police lock-up, See was given the opportunity to highlight his pre-existing medical conditions.

See did not declare claustrophobia when he was examined by the Nursing Officer. He was assessed to be fit for detention.

Thereafter, See was placed in a Temporary Holding Area (THA) that is about 30 square metres in size, which is about half the floor area of a typical HDB three-room flat, with a ceiling height of more than 5m, which is about twice that of most flats.

The THA also has almost floor-to-ceiling transparent panels and overlooks a common corridor.

See remained within the view of our officers while in the THA.

See eventually had to be transferred to a padded cell as he had refused to remain in the THA, and had threatened to hurt himself.

The letter which TOCA produced from a Medical Officer simply stated that See had failed to proceed with an MRI scan on May 5, 2016 as See claimed to suffer from claustrophobia.

It is not a clinical diagnosis of claustrophobia.

Police had tried to contact See before the posting had been carried online.

However, he had refused our offer to arrange a further interview with him.

We thank the public for their continued support and trust in us.

We hope to be able to devote our resources to keeping the public safe from crime and security threats, rather than having to debunk false allegations against our officers who are just trying their best to do their job.

Unfortunately, within the past two months, the police have had to debunk two sets of false allegations which were published by the same social media platform.