Police treat sex crime victims with professionalism

We refer to Ms Candice Lai Sui Wan's letter (Puzzled by officer's handling of sexual harassment case; Dec 27, 2018).

The police have both male and female officers who are trained in investigating sexual crimes and providing victims with the care and support that they may need.

Victims can also request to speak with an investigation officer (IO) of their gender.

Ms Lai's friend was interviewed by a female IO after she made such a request.

The interview rooms in the Police Cantonment Complex (PCC), where Ms Lai's friend was interviewed, are windowless by design to afford the victim privacy.

Ms Lai was not able to accompany her friend for the interview because of the need to preserve the confidentiality of police investigations.

The police can arrange for professional counselling and victim care support for sexual crime victims.

The IO had offered such support to Ms Lai's friend, which she declined.

As for Ms Lai's point about the IO contacting her friend in the early hours, Ms Lai's friend had lodged an online police report close to 1am that day.

Given this, the IO had assumed that she was anxious about her case, and therefore called her within 40 minutes. The IO wanted to promptly assure her that the police were looking into her case. On review, the IO could have waited until the next morning.

There was indeed a miscommunication regarding where Ms Lai's friend was to meet the IO at PCC on Dec 21, 2018, which led to her going to the wrong location. We apologise for the inconvenience caused.

The police assure the public that we treat all victims of sexual crimes with the utmost professionalism and care.

Simon Ng (Superintendent)

Assistant Director (Public Communications Division)

Public Affairs Department

Singapore Police Force

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 04, 2019, with the headline 'Police treat sex crime victims with professionalism'. Print Edition | Subscribe