Come Jan. 1, 2022, enhanced powers for the Singapore Police Force (SPF) will come into force.
Following amendments to the the Police Force Act (PFA) passed in Parliament on Aug. 3, 2021, the new provisions are to "enhance SPF's operational capabilities and readiness", and "strengthen SPF’s disciplinary, administrative and human resources processes", said the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in a Dec. 30 press release.
Increased penalties for motorists evading roadblocks
From Jan. 1, 2022, motorists who evade roadblocks will face increased penalties, and the definition of roadblock evasion will be expanded to cover more modes other than physical dash-through.
To ensure deterrence against such offences, those who evade road blocks will be fined up to S$10,000, jailed up to seven years, or both.
This is up from a fine of up to S$5,000, a jail term of up to 12 months, or both today.
Police officers’ existing powers to erect barriers and cordons to control human traffic will also be made more explicit, added MHA.
It will become an offence for persons to fail to comply with a police officer’s instructions not to cross such barriers and cordons.
Can enter any place in case of medical emergency
From Jan. 1, 2022, police officers' will also be given the power to enter any place in case of medical emergency, "to protect persons from injury or death".
Currently, police officers' powers to make forced entry are restricted to specific circumstances, such as to execute a search warrant, investigate an arrestable offence, or make an arrest.
MHA added that Special Police Officers (SPOs) including national servicemen full-time (NSFs) and national servicemen (NSMen), will be conferred the same powers as regular police officers.
Previously, SPOs only had powers of investigation, and were not able to take "proactive action" to protect public safety.
Officers from the commercial affairs team, who investigate commercial and financial crimes, will also have more powers in their line of duty, such as the power to arrest persons who possess stolen items.
Streamlined administrative and HR processes
To streamline SPF’s administrative and human resource processes, the following provisions will kick in from the new year.
The Minister for Home Affairs will be the authority who can appoint, promote, reduce rank, or dismiss and discharge police officers' ranked superintendent and above, while the Commissioner of Police (CP) will be the one to do so for those ranked deputy superintendent and below.
This process is "aligned with the promotion authorities for SCDF [Singapore Civil Defence Force]", said MHA.
SPOs and civilian officers employed by SPF will also be able to join police associations alongside police officers.
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