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Police investigating cases of criminal force used against officers who help enforce safe distancing rules: Masagos

SINGAPORE — The Singapore Police Force are investigating cases of criminal force used against frontline officers who are helping to maintain the country’s enhanced safe distancing measures, Mr Masagos Zulkifli said on Wednesday (April 15).

Police investigating cases of criminal force used against officers who help enforce safe distancing rules: Masagos

Public service officers controlling human traffic at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park on April 10, 2020.

SINGAPORE — The Singapore Police Force are investigating cases of criminal force used against frontline officers who are helping to maintain the country’s enhanced safe distancing measures, Mr Masagos Zulkifli said on Wednesday (April 15).

The Minister for the Environment and Water Resources said in a Facebook post that he was upset to learn that criminal force has been used against “quite a number of our officers on the frontline”.

“Today (Wednesday), an enforcement officer was slapped by a man who did not comply with safe distancing measures, and a safe distancing ambassador was punched by an errant member of the public when advised to wear his mask properly,” Mr Masagos wrote, adding that these are but two cases that the police will investigate.

He stressed again that such behaviour is “unacceptable”.

“We will be taking action against these individuals and will not hesitate to do the same should there be other similar incidents.”

Staying home, keeping a safe distance from others and minimising movement within the community are important during the circuit breaker period from April 7 to May 4 to be effective in slowing the spread of the coronavirus. Mr Masagos said that many Singaporeans understand this, but there are some members of the public who remain recalcitrant.

He reminded the public that the authorities are enforcing these enhanced measures to protect everyone: “Our ambassadors and enforcement officers are going beyond their day jobs to work tirelessly on the frontline to fine the few who are putting everyone in danger, and to protect them, too.”

Thus, the public should appreciate the officers and listen to their advice, he added.

REPORTING BREACHES WITH ONESERVICE APP

Separately, members of the public have been using the OneService mobile application under the Municipal Services Office to give feedback on the safe distancing regulations. Mr Masagos is glad to see the responses.

The app, which is typically used by residents to report on municipal issues, have been updated so that users may submit photos of people not adhering to the circuit breaker measures.

“Do remember to only send photos taken by yourself and not those forwarded to you or found online. This will help to ensure that the cases flagged are current and not already addressed by our officers,” Mr Masagos said.

He also said that users should provide as many “actionable details” as possible in their submissions in order to facilitate enforcement work.  

WEAR A MASK WHEN OUTSIDE OR RISK BEING FINED 

In another reminder to the public, Mr Masagos said that people must wear a mask when leaving their homes from Thursday onwards.

“Those who do not wear masks in public will face a fine of S$300 for the first offence, and S$1,000 for the second offence. Egregious cases will face prosecution in court.

“This is similar to breaches of other safe distancing measures.”

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