Tougher Penalties Raised for Crimes against Vulnerable Sector

With the government’s attention now shifted on the care of the elderly, as well as the rights of domestic helpers – groups that are often neglected in society, new laws are also being conceived to safeguard the welfare of these sectors by imposing tougher penalties against those who commit crimes against them.

This is great news not only for Singapore’s rapidly increasing aged population, but also to foreign domestic helpers who are also typical subjects of abuse and crimes in society.

Tougher Penalties Raised for Crimes against Vulnerable Sector

Gov’t Proposes Bill to Enforce Stiffer Penalties for Crimes against the Vulnerable

People who commit crimes of abuse and negligence against vulnerable victims including maids and disabled persons, will receive twice the maximum punishment for similar crimes against others under the new Criminal Law Reform Bill introduced in Parliament last February 11, as shared in a report by the Strait Times.

Currently, such offences attract 1 ½ times the maximum punishment for crimes as per the Penal Code.

The bill, which was submitted before the House by Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs Amrin Amin, also expands the coverage of those considered vulnerable to include children under the age of 14 years.

These are just among some of the key provisions of the Bill, which looks to update the 150-year old Penal Code to ensure that it remains relevant with the changing times, as shared in a statement by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

Furthermore, the Bill will also introduce several new offences to address new and emerging crimes such as voyeurism and easy access to child abuse content via the internet.

The proposed change will be followed by the development of a rehabilitation framework to manage children between the ages of seven and 10 who commit crimes.

As per the proposed legislation, it is only when the framework is set for adoption that the new age for the new minimum age of criminal liability will be put into effect, as well.