Published: 15 October 2020
Mr Murali Pillai: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) in the past three years, how many Detention Orders and Police Supervision Orders have been issued under the Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act; (b) what is the age profile of the persons subject to these orders; and (c) in addition to the Act, what further steps will be taken to make it more difficult for secret societies operating in Singapore to recruit young people.
1. From 2017 to 2019, 64 Detention Orders and 39 Police Supervision Orders were issued under the Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act (Cap. 67) (the “Act”). The age of the persons who were subjected to these orders ranged from 17 to 47. The median age was 22.
2. To curb the recruitment of young people into secret societies, the Singapore Police Force (“SPF”) works closely with various stakeholders, such as the Ministry of Social and Family Development, Ministry of Education and Singapore Prison Service, to develop and implement preventive and rehabilitative initiatives.
3. The Streetwise and Enhanced Streetwise Programmes are two examples. They provide assistance and counselling to youths associated with secret societies. While the Streetwise Programme is voluntary, the Enhanced Streetwise Programme is a compulsory pre-court diversionary programme that imposes additional conditions on youth offenders, such as regular reporting to the Secret Societies Branch of the Criminal Investigation Department, close monitoring of attendance at school or work, and prohibition on going to places where secret society members tend to congregate. Youth offenders who successfully complete the Enhanced Streetwise Programme will receive a stern warning in lieu of prosecution.
4. In addition, SPF regularly conducts community outreach projects, such as Camp ACE, to educate youths on the perils of joining a secret society, and educational talks for parents on tell-tale signs. The SPF also participates in other youth-related platforms to engage stakeholders on the steps they may take to guide youths away from secret society activities.