Parliament: ICA officers at checkpoints to be given more powers

The new powers will allow ICA officers to respond to incidents, conduct preliminary investigations, and contain the situation, if police officers are not yet at the scene.
The new powers will allow ICA officers to respond to incidents, conduct preliminary investigations, and contain the situation, if police officers are not yet at the scene.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Officers from the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) will be able to exercise selected police powers at checkpoints under proposed changes to the Immigration Act.

The Immigration (Amendment) Bill, introduced in Parliament for first reading on Monday (Nov 06), will allow immigration officers to conduct search and seizures, security screenings, and examinations and arrests, within and in the vicinity of the checkpoints.

The changes are meant to ensure that security incidents at the checkpoints are dealt with even more promptly, amid the rising threat situation.

With the proposed changes, ICA officers will be able to respond to incidents, conduct preliminary investigations, and contain the situation, if police officers are not yet at the scene.

They can also collect personal identifiers, such as photographs, passport details, and fingerprints, from travellers transiting through Changi Airport, if necessary.

This can help improve security and allow greater coordination among the Integrated Checkpoints Command (ICC), said the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The ICC was launched in 2015 to bring together various government agencies operating at the checkpoints under a unified command and control structure.