Better sharing of info to fight crime

In a bid to tackle transnational organised crime and terrorism, Singapore's law enforcement agencies will work more closely with their international counterparts.

This includes a move to share information to tackle crime.

It was one of two key proposed amendments to the Registration of Criminals Act introduced in Parliament yesterday by Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs Desmond Lee.

The changes will make the exchange of information with foreign agencies more timely and effective, said the Home Affairs Ministry in a statement yesterday. They will also strengthen operational procedures for the registration of criminals, it added.

The Registration of Criminals Act, which was last amended in 2005, enables police to register the particulars of convicted individuals, including criminal records, fingerprints and photographs, in the Register of Criminals. It also provides for the collection of DNA information to help identify suspects and aid in criminal investigations.

When sentencing a repeat offender, the court also considers relevant information in the register.

With the changes, local law enforcement agencies can share some information from the register while seeking information from the foreign agencies to go after criminals in Singapore.

Safeguards will be put in place to ensure that the information and sharing process are not abused.

In the other proposed amendment, law enforcement agencies here will be allowed to take particulars, such as fingerprints and body samples, from a suspect released on bail and under investigation.

Currently, these particulars can be obtained from a suspect only within 48 hours while he is under arrest.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 30, 2016, with the headline 'Better sharing of info to fight crime'. Print Edition | Subscribe