Published: 27 February 2018
Ms Joan Pereira: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) in each of the last five years, how many cases of trespass and unauthorised access to private properties and restricted areas, such as rooftops and military areas, have been reported to the police; (b) how many cases involved (i) death (ii) injuries and (iii) damage to properties; (c) what are the main reasons for such trespass; (d) how many of these cases involved minors; and (e) what are the measures put in place to enhance the security of these sites.
1. Over the past five years, an average of 580 cases of trespass were reported to the Police annually. This includes cases of unauthorised access to private properties and restricted areas.
2. Of these, an average of 30 cases each year involved acts which caused some damage to properties, i.e. mischief and vandalism. Police do not track trespass cases by whether they involve death and injuries.
3. Each year over the past five years, there was an average of about 700 persons arrested for trespassing, and about 12% were youths under the age of 16 years old. Police's experience suggests that cases of trespass committed by youths were often due to peer influence, or a desire to seek thrill in their free time. These youths would trespass into unoccupied schools, rooftops, and other places.
4. Individuals may also have trespassed into private land and state land for various other reasons, including illicit activities such as vice, or less malicious reasons such as to access fishing spots at the beaches or to pick durians.
5. Where appropriate, Police work with stakeholders to enhance the security of sites to prevent and deter trespass. For example, there are signs in restricted areas such as military installations and training grounds, as well as at SLA's State lands, to warn the public against trespassing. Police have also put up Crime Alert signage at areas where there have been incidents, and work with Town Councils to ensure that HDB rooftops are secured to prevent unauthorised access.