Behave or be sent back

Behave or be sent back

Police action against the Dec 8 Little India rioters were not limited to those who threw rocks and attacked police officers and medical personnel.

Around 200 others, whose involvement that night was described by police as "passive and incidental", will be given police advisories to remind them to behave themselves.

Commissioner of Police Ng Joo Hee explained that this group was physically present at the location of the riot.

He said: "I want to make clear that this third group will neither be further detained nor repatriated. They will be allowed to stay on in Singapore and to continue with their employment, but they must not come to adverse notice again."

Yesterday, this group were issued with formal police advisories at the Police Cantonment Complex.

They will have to be accompanied by their employers from more than 150 companies in the marine trade and construction industry.

Why an advisory and not a warning?

Mr Ng said: "Police advisories are given out to persons who have not committed an offence as a reminder to tell them to comply with the law in Singapore."

He said besides those charged in court, 57 others who were involved in the rioting were repatriated.

What are police warnings and what happens when they are issued?

A warning is of a higher degree of severity than an advisory, and is given in lieu of prosecution.

Anyone, even Singaporeans, can be given a police warning. But in the case of foreign workers, getting a police warning means they will have to be repatriated to their home countries.

Why are those repatriated not given a trial or charged?

If the evidence was good enough to charge them in court, the police would have done so. The question of whether there should be a trial is moot.

Why would a person investigated for a criminal offence not be charged in court?

They are not prosecuted because of a variety of reasons: It could be due to an age factor, or the mental state of each individual for example. Sometimes, the prosecution might decide not to proceed because the evidence is not clear-cut.

Were those repatriated given due process?

There is due process. The powers given to the state under the Immigration Act ensures due process for repatriation. It allows us to decide who can be considered an undesirable person in this country.

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