Police break into house, arrest teenagers after two-hour standoff arising from rent dispute

Police officers broke into a rented semi-detached house on Thursday after the tenants - a single mother and her three teenage children - locked themselves in and refused to assist in investigations over a dispute which arose from unpaid rent.

The mother had refused to let the officers question her two boys aged 12 and 17. A report was lodged against them for threatening the landlord of the Upper Paya Lebar Crescent house.

According to reports, the family had not paid rent for two months but refused to move out.

Police officers arrived at the house at about 3pm. After a two-hour standoff, the Singapore Civil Defence Force officers were called in to cut the locks and forcibly gain entry into the house. Plainclothes and uniformed officers armed with police shields then charged into the house.

The two boys and their 16-year-old sister turned violent and began shouting, according to Shinmin Daily News. They refused to be led away and had to be restrained by several officers.

Police subsequently arrested the two boys for criminal intimidation, and their sister for using abusive language against a public servant and voluntarily causing hurt against a public servant.

The 12-year-old was led away in handcuffs. A police spokesman said the officers had to handcuff him for his safety and to protect those around him because he had turned violent.

The teenager's mother, known only as Ms Chng, was seen trying to board the police car which took her children away but was turned away by the officers.

The Straits Times understands the 12-year-old was released shortly after midnight on Thursday, while the older siblings were released on bail on Friday evening. Investigations are ongoing.