Commuters on a public bus travelling from Boon Lay bus interchange detained a 25-year-old man for allegedly molesting a 23-year-old young woman before police officers arrived to arrest the suspect.
The Singapore Police Force revealed in a news release on Monday:
“On 12 November 2017 at 11.14pm, a 23-year-old female victim lodged a police report informing that she had been molested by a man at Boon Lay Bus Interchange. Two members of the public had helped the victim to detain the man who was subsequently arrested by the police.
“The man will be charged in court on 14 November 2017 with the offence of Outrage of Modesty. Anyone convicted for the offence of Outrage of Modesty under Section 354(1) of the Penal Code, shall be punished with an imprisonment term of up to 2 years, or with fine, caning, or with any combination of such punishments.”
Just two days after this incident, the police arrested a 33-year-old man in another case of molestation on board a public bus. The police revealed in a statement on their website:
“The Police have arrested a 33-year-old man for his suspected involvement in a case of Outrage of Modesty.
“On 28 September 2017, two female victims reported that they were molested by an unknown man while they were on board a bus travelling along Choa Chu Kang Avenue 3.
“Through extensive ground enquiries and the aid of CCTV footages, officers from Jurong Police Division established the identity of the suspect and arrested him on 13 November 2017.
“The suspect will be charged in Court on 15 November 2017 with the offence of Outrage of Modesty under Section 354(1) of the Penal Code, Chapter 224. If convicted, the suspect will face a punishment of imprisonment for a term of up to 2 years, or with fine, caning, or with any combination of such punishments.”
These unrelated arrests have been made against the backdrop of a significant jump in molestation cases from January to September 2017, compared to last year.
The police revealed in a press release last month that 1,168 cases were reported between January and September – constituting an increase of 194 cases, or 19.9 per cent – compared to the same period in 2016:
“Between January and September 2017, there were 1,168 reported cases of Outrage of Modesty, an increase of 194 cases (or 19.9%) compared to the same period last year. 152 of these cases were reported on public transport, while 76 of these cases were reported at public entertainment outlets, an increase of 50 cases (or 49.0%) and 15 cases (or 24.6%) respectively, compared to the same period last year.”
The Singapore Police Force asserted that it is working on instating additional security measures to prevent Outrage of Modesty cases:
“To prevent Outrage of Modesty cases from happening in public entertainment outlets, the Police have worked with operators on additional security measures such as the installation of closed-circuit televisions. In addition, the operators are required to prevent overcrowding and ensure sufficient lighting within their premises.
“Patrols are conducted in public transport areas by officers from the Public Transport Security Command to project Police presence and deter Outrage of Modesty cases. In addition, the Police also actively disseminate crime prevention advice to commuters and these are done through posters, videos and crime prevention roadshows in areas such as trains, train stations and bus interchanges.”
The Force also advised members of the public to take the following precautions to prevent crime:
- Be aware of your surroundings and stay alert to any suspicious person(s).
- Avoid walking through dimly-lit and secluded places or taking the lift with a stranger.
- Have someone escort you home when returning alone late at night.
- Carry along with you a shrill alarm.
When taking public transport or visiting entertainment outlets, SPF advises members of the public to be alert and attentive to their surroundings and move away if someone comes exceptionally close. It added:
“If you are molested, seek help immediately from those around you. Take note of the prominent features and attire of the suspect as well as the direction in which he or she went. Call ‘999’ as soon as possible to increase the chances of apprehending the suspect early. If it is safe to do so, the victim or other witnesses of the crime may assist to detain the suspect while waiting for the Police to arrive.”