21 November 2017
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Plan to give immigration officers more police powers

Straits Times
07 Nov 2017
Tan Tam Mei

Immigration officers will be able to exercise selected police powers at immigration checkpoints under proposed changes to the Immigration Act.

The Immigration (Amendment) Bill, introduced in Parliament yesterday, will allow officers from the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) to conduct search and seizures, security screenings, and examinations and arrests, within and in the vicinity of the checkpoints.

The changes are meant to ensure security incidents in these areas are dealt with even more promptly in the current heightened threat environment, said the Ministry of Home Affairs.

With the proposed changes, ICA officers will be able to respond to incidents, conduct preliminary investigations and contain the situation if police officers are not yet at the scene.

The immigration officers will be trained and empowered appropriately to support the protective security functions of the police.

They can also collect personal identifiers, such as photographs, passport details and fingerprints, from travellers transiting through Changi Airport, if necessary.

The Bill is expected to be read in Parliament for the second time in January next year.

The proposed changes will also allow greater coordination among the Integrated Checkpoints Command (ICC).

The ICC was launched in 2015 to bring together various Home Team government agencies, such as the ICA, Singapore Police Force and Central Narcotics Bureau, operating at the checkpoints under a unified command and control structure.

The changes are meant to ensure security incidents in these areas are dealt with even more promptly...

Source: Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Permission required for reproduction.