Harsher penalties proposed for abusing security officers
Security officers would get more protection under proposed laws introduced in Parliament yesterday to set out new offences and stiffer penalties for those who harass, abuse or harm officers carrying out their duties.
The Private Security Industry (Amendment) Bill will amend the Private Security Industry Act (PSIA) to address the common types of harassment and abuse faced by security officers.
The penalties for such offences will be higher than if they were committed against members of the public.
In a statement, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said security officers face a higher risk of confrontation with people from the public-facing nature of their work.
About 40 per cent of security officers had faced some form of abuse while working, according to a survey last year by the Union of Security Employees and the Singapore University of Social Sciences.
MHA said it will broaden the scope of the PSIA to provide "targeted protection" for security officers and "send a clear, deterrent signal against abuse and harassment of security officers".
Under the current Protection from Harassment Act, intentional harassment carries a maximum fine of $5,000 and a jail term of up to six months.
If the amended PSIA is passed, those who harass security officers may be fined up to $5,000 and jailed for up to a year.
Under the Penal Code, assault or using criminal force carries a fine of up to $1,500 and a jail term of up to three months.
The proposed changes to PSIA will raise penalties for the same acts committed against security officers to a maximum fine of $7,500 and up to two years' jail.
Under the Penal Code, voluntarily causing hurt carries a fine of up to $5,000 and a jail term of up to three years.
Such offences committed against security officers will carry a maximum fine of $10,000 and five years' jail under the new laws.