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Thread: What's the Law?

  1. #21

    Default Re: What's the Law?

    They will do that if you press them, esp if you quote chap and verse.

    So then you're back to square 1.

    And yes, if the court directs them after your magistrate's complaint, then I'm sure they'll help you.

    But it doesn't change the fact that it's not a seizable offence, and without a warrant of arrest, there's nothing they can do.

    Here we're talking broken specs. Have you heard about people with broken teeth after fights? Same story, isn't it. Not seizable, so can't help.

    Are broken teeth more serious than broken specs?

    Quote Originally Posted by vince123123 View Post
    For non-seizable offences, the police should advise the complainant to make a magistrates' complaint, and not say "its is a civil case" or "it is not a police case".

    It is not a civil case.

    After the magistrate's complaint, the magistrate may direct the police to investigate, at which point, it becomes a police case.

    I'm just saying that the police are often, very clueless about the legal process.

  2. #22
    vince123123
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    Default Re: What's the Law?

    I think you got brainwashed too much by the police in the newspapers telling you that they cannot do anything in a non-seizable case so much so that you form the wrong impression (which unfortunately is what they want so that they can do less work - once again, the power of the "unspoken impression" as with the SBS drivers confiscate card case).

    They are not able to investigate the case without a Magistrate's Complaint, but once that is done, and where the Magistrate orders them to investigate, they will have full powers to investigate as if it was a seizable case.

    The Magistrate may also issue a Summons for the respondent to appear in court. If the respondent fails to appear, the Magistrate can issue a warrant of arrest.

    Hence, dont always believe what you read, or for that matter, form a certain unspoken impression based on what is said by people with vested interests.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xtol19 View Post
    They will do that if you press them, esp if you quote chap and verse.

    So then you're back to square 1.

    And yes, if the court directs them after your magistrate's complaint, then I'm sure they'll help you.

    But it doesn't change the fact that it's not a seizable offence, and without a warrant of arrest, there's nothing they can do.

    Here we're talking broken specs. Have you heard about people with broken teeth after fights? Same story, isn't it. Not seizable, so can't help.

    Are broken teeth more serious than broken specs?

  3. #23
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    Default Re: What's the Law?

    vince123123 has listed many valid points on the legal aspects on this incident. my view is that the average police officer in singapore are not trained sufficiently to understand the law and its applications. they are trained to follow the SOP in enforcement and report lodging. the police system is good for its efficiency in closing criminal investigations, not in providing legal recourse.

    the TS has unfortunately suffered a wrongful loss and has little chance for legal recourse as the exception of infancy will most likely apply for the offender.

    i may draw flak, but my personal opinion is that understanding our legal rights is important, however police assistance or legal recourse should not be first or only solution to many disputes or grievances. is it necessary to call the police or get a court order to investigate this?

    how many minor traffic accidents every day are resolved amicably between road users through compensation without the need for insurance claims or police assistance? i'm sure there are similar incidents like the TS's case that happen daily, if everyone calls for police assistance, will the police be there when there is a really urgent emergency?

    know your legal rights, take sensible and responsible action to solve your problems 1st.

  4. #24

    Default Re: What's the Law?

    Well, the point is that until you actually get a magistrate to order the police to do something, they can't help you that much.

    They can't arrest the suspect.
    They can't enter the house of the suspect to interview him without his permission.
    They can't compel the suspect to present himself at a police station for investigation.
    The suspect doesn't have to say anything if questioned, let alone allow the police to enter his house.

    They can't even investigate, as you said below!

    So it's you vs the other party, and ultimately you may even have to take up a private prosecution if the magistrate thinks that damage to spectacles is not enough reason to use police resources for investigation.


    Quote Originally Posted by vince123123 View Post
    I think you got brainwashed too much by the police in the newspapers telling you that they cannot do anything in a non-seizable case so much so that you form the wrong impression (which unfortunately is what they want so that they can do less work - once again, the power of the "unspoken impression" as with the SBS drivers confiscate card case).

    They are not able to investigate the case without a Magistrate's Complaint, but once that is done, and where the Magistrate orders them to investigate, they will have full powers to investigate as if it was a seizable case.

    The Magistrate may also issue a Summons for the respondent to appear in court. If the respondent fails to appear, the Magistrate can issue a warrant of arrest.

    Hence, dont always believe what you read, or for that matter, form a certain unspoken impression based on what is said by people with vested interests.
    Last edited by Xtol19; 3rd April 2009 at 12:03 PM.

  5. #25
    vince123123
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    Default Re: What's the Law?

    Look at your previous post again, which I quote the relevant bits here:

    And yes, if the court directs them after your magistrate's complaint, then I'm sure they'll help you.

    But it doesn't change the fact that it's not a seizable offence, and without a warrant of arrest, there's nothing they can do.


    I read this to mean that even after getting the magistrate's order, as far as the police is concerned "there's nothing they can do". I merely read one sentence after another.



    Quote Originally Posted by Xtol19 View Post
    Well, the point is that until you actually get a magistrate to order the police to do something, they can't help you that much.

    They can't arrest the suspect.
    They can't enter the house of the suspect to interview him without his permission.
    They can't compel the suspect to present himself at a police station for investigation.
    The suspect doesn't have to say anything if questioned, let alone allow the police to enter his house.

    They can't even investigate, as you said below!

    So it's you vs the other party, and ultimately you may even have to take up a private prosecution if the magistrate thinks that damage to spectacles is not enough reason to use police resources for investigation.

  6. #26
    vince123123
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    Default Re: What's the Law?

    Agreed, I merely am providing input on the legal rights, and afer that, armed with that information, each individual makes his/her own decision on what to do.

    If they don't even know their rights, they can never make an informed decision on what to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by headfonz View Post
    vince123123 has listed many valid points on the legal aspects on this incident. my view is that the average police officer in singapore are not trained sufficiently to understand the law and its applications. they are trained to follow the SOP in enforcement and report lodging. the police system is good for its efficiency in closing criminal investigations, not in providing legal recourse.

    the TS has unfortunately suffered a wrongful loss and has little chance for legal recourse as the exception of infancy will most likely apply for the offender.

    i may draw flak, but my personal opinion is that understanding our legal rights is important, however police assistance or legal recourse should not be first or only solution to many disputes or grievances. is it necessary to call the police or get a court order to investigate this?

    how many minor traffic accidents every day are resolved amicably between road users through compensation without the need for insurance claims or police assistance? i'm sure there are similar incidents like the TS's case that happen daily, if everyone calls for police assistance, will the police be there when there is a really urgent emergency?

    know your legal rights, take sensible and responsible action to solve your problems 1st.

  7. #27

    Default Re: What's the Law?

    Maybe I meant it the other way, ie if the magistrate tells them to investigate, I'm sure they will comply. But it doesn't change the fact that they can't do anything until the magistrate tells them to do something as it's not a seizable offence.

    Your point is the police are clueless. Mine is that they are not allowed to do anything for non-seizable offences.

    These points are not mutually exclusive.

    And in fact, I think it's good that not all offences are seizable, else we'd be arrested for everything from spitting and littering to jaywalking, and the police will be involved in every domestic and non-domestic dispute.

    Quote Originally Posted by vince123123 View Post
    Look at your previous post again, which I quote the relevant bits here:

    And yes, if the court directs them after your magistrate's complaint, then I'm sure they'll help you.

    But it doesn't change the fact that it's not a seizable offence, and without a warrant of arrest, there's nothing they can do.


    I read this to mean that even after getting the magistrate's order, as far as the police is concerned "there's nothing they can do". I merely read one sentence after another.
    Last edited by Xtol19; 3rd April 2009 at 05:46 PM.

  8. #28

    Default Re: What's the Law?

    how do i submit a magistrate complaint? i wonder also how many cases were thrown out everyday at the magistrate's end.

  9. #29

    Default Re: What's the Law?

    I think the situation left me very little option to "prove something". I cannot demand for his id. I could follow him to the hotel though and then what? i still can't demand his id. As the police won't demand for his id either, there's no way i could have gotten an identification from him. Without his id, what are the possible recourse? take a picture of him? record our conversation at the point of conflict? It's sad but im suprised the police did not help me in anyway towards obtaining the least bit of identification needed for future use.

    so when i am at the magistrate desk, what do i provide? a blank pice of paper and a broken glasses? Our current system is a joke.

  10. #30

    Default Re: What's the Law?

    Quote Originally Posted by lancey View Post
    I think the situation left me very little option to "prove something". I cannot demand for his id. I could follow him to the hotel though and then what? i still can't demand his id. As the police won't demand for his id either, there's no way i could have gotten an identification from him. Without his id, what are the possible recourse? take a picture of him? record our conversation at the point of conflict? It's sad but im suprised the police did not help me in anyway towards obtaining the least bit of identification needed for future use.

    so when i am at the magistrate desk, what do i provide? a blank pice of paper and a broken glasses? Our current system is a joke.
    It's sad.

    Let me share with you my story. Here the short version.

    Years back, i caught a peep-ing tom at a public toilet while that pervert was peeping me doing big business.

    Incident happened at Orchard MRT station. And till i manage to grab hold of them after the struggling as he tried to escape. No one helped and just watching the "show". Some even thought i am bully due to my size. But i dun have the time to explain to them.

    So finally the MRT station staff came and called police. After police investigated at the station and asked me, "Hi Sir, do you want to charge him?" If u want then tomorrow u have to go to the court to file it and it on YOUR COST!!!!! then the court will charge him.

    I was totally blur!!! The policemen told me that cos i am a guy there is no law protect men being molested or kana peeping-tom and so cant charge him molest that kind of cases like other girl victim. Then he was released after i cant do anything about it unless i pay my own lawyer etc to nail him down etc. Isn't stupid? Sighz... so i just continue head home after the whole commotions at the MRT.

    Then my friends said i shd give him a good bash up... but then i would be charged then if i lay my hands on him. Cos it would be assaulting case.

    SO funny hor our laws!
    Last edited by Tupi Guy; 3rd April 2009 at 04:48 PM.
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  11. #31
    vince123123
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    Default Re: What's the Law?

    Okay, upon your clarified first paragraph, I now know we undestand each other. I didn't read your earlier comment to be contingent upon the fact they can't do anything UNTIL the magistrate say so, but they can't do anything period.

    Hence, we are now in agreement as far as our respective positions are concerned.

    There are pros and cons of the seizeable/non-seizable divide, but I think the balance is not yet achieved. Right now, even what most consider as serious offences (such as simple hurt) is non-seizable. I think the scale needs to be moved a bit more towards making more offences seizable, and leaving the really minor ones as non-seizable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xtol19 View Post
    Maybe I meant it the other way, ie if the magistrate tells them to investigate, I'm sure they will comply. But it doesn't change the fact that they can't do anything until the magistrate tells them to do something as it's not a seizable offence.

    Your point is the police are clueless. Mine is that they are not allowed to do anything for non-seizable offences.

    These points are not mutually exclusive.

    And in fact, I think it's good that not all offences are seizable, else we'd be arrested for everything from spitting and littering to jaywalking, and the police will be involved in every domestic and non-domestic dispute.

  12. #32
    vince123123
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    Default Re: What's the Law?

    In your case, even if the offence is seizable, you will still have problems; because once he flies away, you have no one to catch. Not so much the system; although I will say that the system is lousy because many criminal acts go unpunished.

    Quote Originally Posted by lancey View Post
    how do i submit a magistrate complaint? i wonder also how many cases were thrown out everyday at the magistrate's end.
    Quote Originally Posted by lancey View Post
    I think the situation left me very little option to "prove something". I cannot demand for his id. I could follow him to the hotel though and then what? i still can't demand his id. As the police won't demand for his id either, there's no way i could have gotten an identification from him. Without his id, what are the possible recourse? take a picture of him? record our conversation at the point of conflict? It's sad but im suprised the police did not help me in anyway towards obtaining the least bit of identification needed for future use.

    so when i am at the magistrate desk, what do i provide? a blank pice of paper and a broken glasses? Our current system is a joke.

  13. #33
    vince123123
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    Default Re: What's the Law?

    As stated before, all accounts I've heard (including your own right now) points to the police discouraging citizens to take criminal action by all sorts of methods - in your case, trying to scare you into thinking that you need to incurr a lot of cost.

    If I remember correctly, the filing fee for a Magistrate's Complaint is S$1. Of course having a lawyer helps when you need to draft charges and all, but I think you probably can do most of it yourself at not much cost.

    That said, I'm not too sure that molesting a man is not an offence, maybe it really isn't I do remember that outrage of modesty is gender inspecific:

    Assault or use of criminal force to a person with intent to outrage modesty
    354. ó(1) Whoever assaults or uses criminal force to any person, intending to outrage or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby outrage the modesty of that person, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 2 years, or with fine, or with caning, or with any combination of such punishments. (2) Whoever commits an offence under subsection (1) against any person under 14 years of age shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 5 years, or with fine, or with caning, or with any combination of such punishments.

    Criminal force.
    350. Whoever intentionally uses force to any person, without that personís consent, in order to cause the committing of any offence, or intending by the use of such force illegally to cause, or knowing it to be likely that by the use of such force he will illegally cause injury, fear or annoyance to the person to whom the force is used, is said to use criminal force to that other.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tupi Guy View Post
    It's sad.

    Let me share with you my story. Here the short version.

    Years back, i caught a peep-ing tom at a public toilet while that pervert was peeping me doing big business.

    Incident happened at Orchard MRT station. And till i manage to grab hold of them after the struggling as he tried to escape. No one helped and just watching the "show". Some even thought i am bully due to my size. But i dun have the time to explain to them.

    So finally the MRT station staff came and called police. After police investigated at the station and asked me, "Hi Sir, do you want to charge him?" If u want then tomorrow u have to go to the court to file it and it on YOUR COST!!!!! then the court will charge him.

    I was totally blur!!! The policemen told me that cos i am a guy there is no law protect men being molested or kana peeping-tom and so cant charge him molest that kind of cases like other girl victim. Then he was released after i cant do anything about it unless i pay my own lawyer etc to nail him down etc. Isn't stupid? Sighz... so i just continue head home after the whole commotions at the MRT.

    Then my friends said i shd give him a good bash up... but then i would be charged then if i lay my hands on him. Cos it would be assaulting case.

    SO funny hor our laws!

  14. #34

    Default Re: What's the Law?

    Quote Originally Posted by vince123123 View Post
    In your case, even if the offence is seizable, you will still have problems; because once he flies away, you have no one to catch. Not so much the system; although I will say that the system is lousy because many criminal acts go unpunished.
    what if he is local? do i track him to his house, take down the unit number and then report to magistrate for any chance of a case?

  15. #35

    Default Re: What's the Law?

    Quote Originally Posted by Xtol19 View Post
    But it doesn't change the fact that it's not a seizable offence, and without a warrant of arrest, there's nothing they can do.

    ?
    im not asking them to seize them. Im hoping they would help mediate the case like exchanging particulars between me and the father of the child. They r telling me they dun even have the right to take down the particulars of the other party because it is a civil case. I need that particulars so i can proceed with the civil suit. As the law stands, i might as well go fly kite.

  16. #36
    vince123123
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    Default Re: What's the Law?

    That one better chance, but remember above we talked about hthe defence of infancy - ie anything done by someone below 7 is not an offence.

    Hence even if you can track him down, in your PARTICULAR case, it can be quite difficult

    Quote Originally Posted by lancey View Post
    what if he is local? do i track him to his house, take down the unit number and then report to magistrate for any chance of a case?

  17. #37

    Default Re: What's the Law?

    Quote Originally Posted by vince123123 View Post
    That one better chance, but remember above we talked about hthe defence of infancy - ie anything done by someone below 7 is not an offence.

    Hence even if you can track him down, in your PARTICULAR case, it can be quite difficult
    i understand now. thx for the input.

    the police should have told me about the infancy section( i dunno if they know it is under MISCHIEF and if i know about it and it wasn't as offence then bad luck to me (although if i was the father i'd compensate the victim of the glasses, but then it boils down to personal upbringing and integrity, a topic for another day).

    let's say it was an adult who stepped purposely on my glasses and he is local. And knowing the police would not ask for the particulars of the culprit, the only chance i have is to track him down and take it to the magistrate myself with the house blk and unit number.

    Would the police take down the particulars of the culprit if he was an ADULT?(and knowing that it falls under MISCHIEF?). If they won't do it also, then something is wrong here.
    Last edited by lancey; 3rd April 2009 at 08:21 PM.

  18. #38

    Default Re: What's the Law?

    My point is: did the police know it was a case of MISCHIEF? Do they know of the infancy subsection under the MISCHIEF ACT?

    if what they told me is true :" this is not a police case", then to them, clearly the word MISCHIEF did not cross their mind.

    But based on what happened, it seems like this is indeed a case of MISCHIEF becos a property was delibrately damaged(i could be wrong) or at least arguably. If thats the case, they should have taken down the particulars of the child and guardian or parent? Am i wrong to say that? Unless they are telling me if the mischievious act was committed by an infant under 7, then automatically it is not deemed a mischievious act, then ok. But, common.

  19. #39
    vince123123
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    Default Re: What's the Law?

    My view? They don't know squat, and each time it is a minor offence, they will always say "civil case".

    Quote Originally Posted by lancey View Post
    My point is: did the police know it was a case of MISCHIEF? Do they know of the infancy subsection under the MISCHIEF ACT?

    if what they told me is true :" this is not a police case", then to them, clearly the word MISCHIEF did not cross their mind.

    But based on what happened, it seems like this is indeed a case of MISCHIEF becos a property was delibrately damaged(i could be wrong) or at least arguably. If thats the case, they should have taken down the particulars of the child and guardian or parent? Am i wrong to say that? Unless they are telling me if the mischievious act was committed by an infant under 7, then automatically it is not deemed a mischievious act, then ok. But, common.

  20. #40

    Default Re: What's the Law?

    Quote Originally Posted by vince123123 View Post
    There are pros and cons of the seizeable/non-seizable divide, but I think the balance is not yet achieved. Right now, even what most consider as serious offences (such as simple hurt) is non-seizable. I think the scale needs to be moved a bit more towards making more offences seizable, and leaving the really minor ones as non-seizable.
    I don't think it should be moved at all until suspects are granted rights for full legal representation at all points of investigation, the discovery process is fully transparent, etc.

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