7 arrested for unruly behaviour at Boys' Home

Seven residents of the Singapore Boys' Home were arrested on Tuesday night by police for unruly behaviour and vandalism after they damaged furniture, threw objects out of their rooms and created a ruckus at the home in Jurong West.

It took two hours for the situation to be stabilised, police said in a statement yesterday.

The Ministry of Social and Family Development, which runs the home, said nobody was injured in the incident.

The ages of the boys arrested at the home, which houses at-risk youth aged between 12 and 19, were not revealed.

Residents living near the home, which is in Jurong West Street 24, said they became aware of a loud commotion on Tuesday that lasted more than an hour from around 10pm.

Mr Hashim Abdul Rahman, 60, said: "It was quite loud at night and there was a lot of banging and people shouting. We could see people running in some of the rooms."

His Housing Board flat is across the road from the home.

Another resident, who wanted to be known only as Ms Siti, 36, said the place can sound a little chaotic at times.

Just a few days before Tuesday's incident, the housewife saw some boys gathered outside the home in the evening, shouting to the residents inside. She could not make out what they were saying.

The news of the arrests comes on the same day as a court appearance by two 17-year-olds who were involved in a riot at the Singapore Boys' Home in September last year.

The two were part of a group of seven who attacked three adults working at the home, and damaged property as well. The brutal assault left a 44-year-old auxiliary police officer with an eye injury that is most likely permanent.

 

Yesterday, the two teenagers were each sentenced to a year's reformative training, which means they will be detained in a reformative training centre to follow a strict regimen that includes foot drills and counselling.

Tuesday's incident is the third in four years where residents caused a commotion at the home. All three incidents occurred in the month of September.

In September 2016, 26 residents were arrested by police for unlawful assembly. They had thrown furniture out of the home's windows and smashed light tubes in an attempt to stage an escape.

Apart from youth offenders, the home also houses boys deemed beyond parental control, or who are under a child protection order.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 13, 2019, with the headline '7 arrested for unruly behaviour at Boys' Home'. Print Edition | Subscribe