An open letter addressed to Minister K Shanmugam and his personal assistants and press secretaries.
Dear Minister and to whom it may concern,
I read with great interest in regards to the post published by Minister of Home Affairs and Law, K Shanmugam on Sunday about action being taken against police officers and that members of public are welcome to make complaints against the police if they feel that the officers are in the wrong.
In the post, it is written. "The lady has accused the Police of hurting women sex workers, and having used the services of the women. If she really believes these allegations, she should write in to lodge a complaint. I will direct an independent investigation. She should come forward and give credible evidence, and subject herself to being questioned as well.
Where our Police Officers have done wrong, we take action against them, openly and transparently. We hold them to higher standards than we do a member of public. No cover-ups. Where they break the law, they get higher penalties. The media carries stories of Police Officers being charged."
Below are few of the police stories that I have written about and had seen the police reports myself. There had been other stories of complaints but the people involved did not proceed to file an official complaint on the matter.
- Seeking for a closure, two years after unexplained arrest over an alleged offence (2014)
- Man accuses police of using disproportionate force on him (2015)
- Man claims to be injured by plainclothes officers after asking to verify police identity (2015)
- Father with dementia, forced to confess to offence by police (2016)
- Mother of 13-year-old files report against police officers’ abuse of power and told no further actions would be taken (2016)
- 58-year-old man claims threats of arrest and violence by police (2017)
Now, to my knowledge running a news site for four years and various cases that have come to my attention about police complaints, none of the officers being complained against, have been brought to task.
The reply from the internal affairs had always been that the complaints have been looked into and no further actions will be taken.
While we cannot assume that the police officers complained against are at fault, but according to the complainants, there are no further follow up made towards the complaints, given that there is no attempt to seek further statements from the people in question.
In all of the cases that I have been involved in, there is no accounting of what has been discovered in the investigation when Internal Affairs issues the final letter to the complainants to inform that the investigations have completed and ceased. This means that there is no transparency on how the investigations are conducted for the complainants.
In light of the statement made by the Minister on his Facebook page, can the Minister or the ministry share, how many officers have been disciplined from official complaints other than penal code offences such as bribery and unlawful discharge of firearms.
Note - This email will be published as an open letter on The Online Citizen, and hopeful that the Ministry will grant us a response to our queries.