Police to review procedures for interviewing young persons
The Singapore Police Force (SPF) has released a statement following the death of a Secondary 3 student who was under investigation for outrage of modesty.
The New Paper reported on Saturday (Jan 30) that the 14-year-old boy, who we are not naming as he was a minor, had admitted to molesting an 11-year-old girl during police questioning without his parents present at Ang Mo Kio Police Division.
He was later released on bail from police custody before falling to his death, with the boy's mother later alleging that he had been pressured into making a false confession.
According to their statement, the police said that they were investigating a report of a molestation.
Based on evidence on a closed circuit television, they went to the boy's school to conduct investigations.
"To keep investigations discreet, the officers went in plainclothes and in unmarked cars," the statement said.
After discussing with the school officials and viewing of the CCTV footage, the student in question was identified.
A school official went to get the boy from his class to the principal's office and was "spoken with in the presence of a police officer".
Before the boy was brought back to the police station, a police officer spoke with her and the boy also spoke to his mother.
At the police station, the boy was invterviewed by the investigation officer "at his workstation in an open office plan with other workstations", the statement said.
The boy was "fully cooperative" throughout, it added. The boy was later released on bail and returned home with his mother.
"The Police have been asked whether it should review the procedure to allow an appropriate adult to be present when a young person is interviewed. The Police will review and address this issue," read the statement.
"Police investigations have not been completed. A Coroner’s Inquiry will be held upon the conclusion of investigations, where all the relevant facts will be presented to the State Coroner. At the inquiry, the family will also be able to raise all questions that they may have.
"The Police have expressed their deepest condolences to the family. They have met the family to address their questions on the case and provide clarifications on the actions of the Police officers during their interaction with (the boy)."