Schemes available to help victims and perpetrators of crime: Forum
There are various measures to ensure the well-being of both young victims and offenders when a case is being investigated: SPF
We refer to Dr Thomas Lee Hock Seng's letter, "Help both young victims and perpetrators of crime" (March 22).
We assure Dr Lee that there are various measures to ensure the well-being of both young victims and offenders when a case is being investigated.
Young victims of crime can be referred to the Victim Care Cadre programme, where emotional support and other help will be provided. They are given relevant resources and information and a safe environment to share their distress.
Young victims of family sexual abuse need not recount their traumatic experiences repeatedly.
They only have to go through a single interview which integrates interviews by different professionals: investigation officers, child protection officers and doctors.
A trained appropriate adult will be present during police interviews to provide emotional support to a young suspect and facilitate communication.
There are also measures to help rehabilitate young offenders.
For example, offenders aged 18 and below may be placed on diversionary programmes such as the Guidance Programme or Enhanced Streetwise Programme.
No action in court will be taken against them if they complete the programme.
Where appropriate, the police may also issue warnings to young offenders for minor offences, in lieu of prosecution.
Where prosecution is warranted, for offenders aged 21 and below at the time of the commission of the offence and at the time of sentencing, rehabilitation is generally the dominant sentencing consideration.
Rehabilitative sentences such as probation, reformative training and community-based sentences are common sentencing options for young offenders. That said, sentencing is fact-specific.
Under certain circumstances, such as if the offence is serious or where the harm caused is severe, punitive and deterrence considerations may take precedence over rehabilitation.
We advise members of the public against taking criminal matters into their own hands.
Anyone who has any information on an offence being committed should lodge a police report.
Brenda Ong (Deputy Superintendent)
Assistant director (Public Communications Division)
Public Affairs Department
Singapore Police Force
Source: Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Permission required for reproduction.