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Average of 27 monthly abuse reports against security officers since May 2022

Since May 2022, there has been a troubling surge, with an average of 27 monthly reports of abuse or harassment against security officers, a stark contrast to the 2018-2021 average of just 13, as revealed by Minister K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law.

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SINGAPORE: Since May 2022, there has been an average of 27 reported cases of abuse or harassment against security officers each month, marking a significant increase from the previous average of 13 cases per month recorded between 2018 and 2021.

This information was conveyed by Mr K Shanmugam, the Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law, in response to a Parliamentary question (PQ) submitted by Melvin Yong, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Radin Mas SMC.

Melvin Yong’s inquiry encompassed three aspects: (a) the number of abuse cases lodged since May 2022, (b) whether these cases have shown a declining trend since the introduction of new offences in the amended Private Security Industry Act, effective from 1 May 2022, and (c) any plans to further enhance penalties to deter abuse against security officers.

In his response, Minister Shanmugam underscored that the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had amended the Private Security Industry Act (PSIA) in October 2021 to fortify the safeguards for security officers facing abuse and harassment in the line of duty. These amendments came into effect in May 2022.

Furthermore, Minister Shanmugam noted that the improved protections provided to security officers had prompted a greater number of them, as well as their employers and the Union of Security Employees, to come forward and report incidents of abuse or harassment.

Given that it has been slightly over a year since the amendments to the PSIA were implemented, Minister Shanmugam emphasized that the MHA will continue to closely monitor the situation.

Rising incidents of security officer assaults

In recent times, there have been disturbing incidents involving the assault of security officers, underscoring a concerning trend of violence against these dedicated professionals.

In July 2022, Security Association Singapore brought to light an incident where a security officer, stationed at the Giant hypermarket in Tampines Retail Park, was assaulted by a man.

The altercation arose when the officer had simply advised the individual to wear a face mask before entering the building.

In May of the same year, another security officer suffered injuries after reportedly being attacked by a group of individuals at City Square Residences.

The officer had been conducting routine entry checks when the assault occurred around 6:30 a.m. on May 8th. The 56-year-old man was subsequently transported to the hospital while remaining conscious.

Additionally, two men, aged 26 and 58, have reportedly been assisting authorities with their inquiries regarding the alleged case of causing harm to the security officer.

80-year-old security officer allegedly assaulted during night patrol at Bedok Central

In a recent and particularly disheartening case, an 80-year-old security officer was allegedly punched in the face while carrying out a night patrol in Bedok Central on September 10.

The officer had noticed a man sleeping on a public bench, a clear violation of regulations, and had informed the individual of this violation. Despite initially complying, the man repeated the offence, becoming agitated and verbally abusive when confronted again.

The altercation escalated, culminating in the alleged assault on the officer, causing him to fall and break his spectacles.

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