Singapore — On Monday (Aug 2), the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) clarified that safe-distancing enforcement officers may enter and inspect “various premises, including residences” even if no warrant has been issued.
This would allow the officers to make sure that regulations pertaining to the Covid-19 pandemic are being followed.
The clarification was issued in the wake of videos posted by actor Nick Mikhail on his Instagram account wherein he said officers had inspected his home while his wife was home alone.
“Came in without warrant,” he wrote in one post, wherein he uploaded a video of officers looking around what appeared to be one room in his house.
He had originally mistakenly identified the officers as from the National Environment Agency (NEA), for which he later apologised.
In response to Mr Mikhail, URA said that it was addressing “repeated complaints” from people living in the vicinity about some residents who were “having gatherings with more than the permitted number of visitors.”
These gatherings also allegedly made a considerable amount of noise.
CNA quotes URA as saying, “In response to the feedback, officers from different agencies had been deployed to the estate to check for potential infringements of the COVID-19 regulations as well as noise.
Safe-distancing enforcement officers are empowered to enter, inspect and search various premises, including residences, without a warrant, to check whether the COVID-19 regulations are being complied with.”
Some Singaporeans commented that they are uncomfortable with the idea that officers may come in without a warrant.
Netizens brought up the idea of women or elderly Singaporeans easily allowing people to come in.
Others said would-be scammers could take advantage of this.
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