Ms Tin Pei Ling: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) how many people have been arrested for physical assaults in public areas on an annual basis over the past 10 years; (b) of this number, how many involve foreigners; (c) what will the Government do to deter such behaviours; and (d) whether penalties for foreign assailants can be enhanced.
1 Between 2007 and 2016, an average of about 1,700 persons were arrested annually for physical assault in public areas. About one-fifth were foreigners.
2 Our tough laws and effective enforcement serve as important deterrence. For instance, where the physical assault had caused grievous hurt, the offender is liable to be imprisoned for up to 10 years, and also to be fined or caned. These laws and punishments must apply equally to both locals and foreigners.
3 The Police conduct regular patrols and licensing checks in areas that tend to see more incidents of physical assault, such as public entertainment outlets. The Police also work with the operators of such outlets on measures to minimize occurrences, including installing more CCTVs and improving the lighting.