Mr. Gan Thiam Poh: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) in the past ten years, how many complaints have been received from complainants that they have been wrongly arrested/accused based on the information given by informants after investigations; (b) what actions have been taken against those who have made wrong or willful accusations resulting in the arrest of innocent parties and causing embarrassment to them; and (c) whether the police will allow the complainants to take civil and defamation suits against those who have willfully or intentionally accused wrong parties that resulted in abuse of police resources.
1. When a Police report is made accusing a person of a crime, it is the Police's responsibility to conduct a thorough investigation and establish the facts. The Police will then take further actions based on the findings. This includes placing a person under arrest. The Police do not make arrests based simply on allegations by a complainant.
2. Deliberately giving wrong or false information to mislead the Police is an offence under Section 182 of the Penal Code. A person who is convicted of such an offence can be jailed for up to a year, fined up to $5,000, or both.
3. In the past five years, there were on average about 200 cases each year of persons providing false information to public servants, including the Police. The action taken against such persons depends on the facts of each case, and whether it appears that there was deliberate intention. In cases where the false report resulted in a significant waste of public resources, offenders may be prosecuted in Court.
4. The wrongfully accused party may also take up civil suits against those who have wilfully or wrongfully provided false information against them.