Independent review panel for Home Team's internal investigations

Trainees from the Singapore Police Force at a classroom lesson at the Home Team Academy in Choa Chu Kang. An independent review panel that will look at whether internal investigations into Home Team officers are thorough and fair was established by t
Trainees from the Singapore Police Force at a classroom lesson at the Home Team Academy in Choa Chu Kang. An independent review panel that will look at whether internal investigations into Home Team officers are thorough and fair was established by the Ministry of Home Affairs on Friday, Aug 1. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - An independent review panel (IRP) that will look at whether internal investigations into Home Team officers are thorough and fair was established by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Friday.

Chaired by retired Supreme Court judge Goh Joon Seng and comprising 18 other members from various professions - including the former director of prisons and the former Chief of Army - the high-level panel is meant to strengthen the Home Team's system for reviewing internal investigations into allegations of wrongdoing or misconduct by its officers, said MHA.

"When directed by the Minister for Home Affairs, the IRP will review the internal investigations into cases of serious alleged misconduct by an officer in his official capacity," it said.

This would apply for cases that resulted in death or serious injury or that obstructed or perverted the course of justice.

"The IRP is advisory in nature. It is neither an investigation body nor a disciplinary body," it added.

Mr Goh said that the IRP will work to maintain high public trust and confidence in the Home Team and its officers.

"The Home Team is an institution that Singaporeans trust and depend on to keep us safe and secure," he said. "The independent review panel is fully committed to strengthening the review process."

The panel, first announced by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Mr Teo Chee Hean at the Committee of Supply debate in Parliament in March, will be appointed for a two-year term. The ministry said it studied models used in other countries which have an independent body to review complaints against law enforcement officers in developing the IRP.

yanliang@sph.com.sg

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