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Private-hire drivers, swabbers to get better protection under law for harassment

Private-hire drivers, swabbers to get better protection under law for harassment

Source: Straits Times
Article Date: 03 Jul 2021
Author: Jean Iau

The new public service workers include many who provide Covid-19 services.

Private-hire car drivers, temperature screeners and those who perform Covid-19 swab tests will soon be listed as public service workers and get better protection under Singapore's anti-harassment law.

From next Wednesday, under the Protection from Harassment Act, those who abuse, harass or dox these workers while they perform their duties will face double the maximum jail term compared with when the victim is not a public service worker.

Doxxing is publishing identifiable information about a person to harass or cause violence or fear of violence to the person.

Announcing the move in a statement yesterday, the Ministry of Home Affairs said it had reviewed the legislation for the first time since its introduction in 2014 and "identified more workers who meet the criteria for a public service worker and should receive enhanced protection against harassment".

The new public service workers include many who provide Covid-19 services such as those who give vaccine jabs, private ambulance operators transporting patients and suspected cases, and private healthcare workers directly involved in Covid-19 operations.

Taxi drivers are already listed as public service workers covered under the Act.

Under the law, those convicted of harassing public service workers while they perform their duties face a jail term of up to 12 months, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.

The maximum punishment is six months in jail, a fine of up to $5,000, or both, for offenders whose victims are not public service workers.

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

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