Published: 18 May 2018
Ms Rahayu Mahzam: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) whether he can provide an update on the Appropriate Adult Scheme for young suspects below 16 years of age; (b) what is the current number of volunteers under the scheme; (c) whether the scheme is implemented at all police divisions; and (d) what is the number of times a volunteer has been called upon under this scheme since April 2017.
1. The Appropriate Adult Scheme for Young Suspects was launched in phases from April 2017. During the pilot phase, from April 2017 to April 2018, Appropriate Adults were activated to provide emotional support to young suspects investigated by the Police and Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) at Bedok Division, by the Police’s Criminal Investigation Department, and by CNB’s Investigation Division.
2. Feedback from investigation officers and Appropriate Adults has been positive. Since April 2018, the scheme has been expanded to cover Police and CNB cases investigated at Clementi, Central, and Tanglin Divisions, as well as cases investigated by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau and Singapore Customs. With this expansion, the scheme is expected to support about half of all young suspects investigated by the Police and CNB. The full roll-out is expected to be completed in mid-2019.
3. The Singapore Children’s Society (SCS) manages the scheme, and is responsible for recruiting, training, and deploying Appropriate Adults. There are currently 408 Appropriate Adults, and they have been activated about 690 times since April 2017.
4. Volunteers have to undergo a day-long training session by SCS. The training is supported by the Association of Criminal Lawyers of Singapore, the Law Society of Singapore, Attorney-General’s Chambers, Singapore Police Force, Central Narcotics Bureau, Ministry of Social and Family Development, Ministry of Home Affairs, and the National Council of Social Service.