More will be done to help vulnerable victims of sexual crimes and family violence: Shanmugam

SINGAPORE – The police will be doing extra to shield the vulnerable, together with taking a extra holistic and victim-centric method of their administration of victims of sexual crimes and family violence, in addition to individuals with suicidal tendencies.

This yr’s theme for the Police Workplan Seminar, held on Tuesday (April 26), is Policing with a Heart, Impacting Lives with our Partners. This is a major transfer away from earlier years when the annual occasion targeted on know-how enhancements and new weapons.

In an announcement on Tuesday, the police stated that although their mission is to forestall, deter and detect crime, they’re additionally conscious that the components driving prison behaviour are multifaceted and require intervention past simply regulation enforcement.

In a pre-recorded speech on the seminar, Law and Home Affairs Minister Okay. Shanmugam famous that sexual crimes have been on the rise, and the police will additionally be doing extra to take care of family violence.

The quantity of family violence circumstances investigated by the Ministry of Social and Family Development rose by 13 per cent, from about 1,310 circumstances in 2019 to 1,480 in 2020.

To help these vulnerable victims, the police will work with social service businesses, stated Mr Shanmugam, who additionally recognised that offenders could face troublesome circumstances and socio-economic issues that contribute to their offending behaviour.

Under initiatives such because the Home Team Community Assistance and Referral Scheme, social employees will be referred to as in, after police intervention, to establish the socio-economic points main to offending behaviour.

Mr Shanmugam gave the instance of a person who had breached a private safety order his spouse had taken in opposition to him in February 2020.

“He was facing marital issues, lacked social support… living alone. With the help of social workers and adequate befriending support, he is now coping better and has not breached the personal protection order ever since.”

Mr Shanmugam outlined three key initiatives the police will be embarking on to shield the vulnerable – partnerships, coaching and the reorganisation of sources.

Since March 2021, the police have partnered the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) to pilot a disaster response group that will present care and help to individuals with suicidal tendencies.

In 2020, Singapore reported 452 suicides, a 13 per cent improve in contrast with the 400 circumstances in 2019. This is the best quantity since 2012.

When the police are alerted to a case of tried suicide, they will name a devoted hotline that will join them with IMH employees.

Upon activation by the police, two IMH psychiatric nurses will present an on-site evaluation of the individual’s psychological well being and suicide danger to decide how the case will be managed.

To date, the disaster response group has acquired greater than 2,000 calls. The overwhelming majority of such circumstances are instantly taken to IMH for additional evaluation due to causes resembling suicide danger and the want for additional remedy of underlying psychological well being circumstances.

Other interventions the nurses could advocate embrace working with caregivers on a security plan if the individual has calmed down and referring them to group sources resembling family service centres for help.

Dr Jared Ng, a senior guide and chief of IMH’s division of emergency and disaster care, famous how the intervention really helpful relies on components resembling the danger and protecting components at play.

He stated: “We look at whether the person has drug abuse, alcohol abuse, loneliness, social isolation, a history of suicide attempts. Protective factors usually (include) the presence of family members, emotional support, all these factors we take into account when coming up with an assessment of suicide risk factors.”

Training is one other large part the police will be specializing in because the Sexual Crime and Family Violence Command is ready up by 2023, along with the formation of a devoted Family Violence Team, to present victims of sexual crimes and family violence with extra help.

Mr Shanmugam stated: “Police officers will undergo family violence sensitivity training to recognise signs of family violence and better support abuse victims. Police officers are also trained to handle sexual crime victims with dignity and respect to reduce the likelihood of re-traumatisation.”

With the reorganisation of sources, victims of sexual crime will quickly have extra privateness and comfort once they endure forensic medical examinations and interviews after lodging a report.

The police are redesigning the OneSAFE Centre on the Police Cantonment Complex in order that sexual assault victims will have a devoted sufferer care space outfitted with interview rooms, medical examination rooms, washrooms and non-public rooms for victims to relaxation in.

The redesigned centre is focused to be rolled out by the primary half of subsequent yr.

The police will additionally be working with stakeholders to broaden the eligibility standards in order that extra victims can profit from its multi-disciplinary interview mannequin.

Under this mannequin, which at the moment applies to younger victims of intra-familial sexual abuse, victims want to relate their experiences solely as soon as to a mixed group of cops, medical professionals and youngster safety officers.

The police stated: “Given the grave nature of sexual crime offences, it is important to ensure that victims are not re-traumatised during the investigation process.”

Helplines

• National Care Hotline:

1800-202-6868 (8am – 8pm)

Mental well-being

• Institute of Mental Health’s Mental Health Helpline:

6389-2222 (24 hours)

• Samaritans of Singapore:

1800-221-4444 (24 hours) /1-767 (24 hours)

• Singapore Association for Mental Health:

1800-283-7019

• Silver Ribbon Singapore:

6386-1928

• Tinkle Friend:

1800-274-4788 and www.tinklefriend.sg

• Community Health Assessment Team:

6493-6500/1 and www.chat.mentalhealth.sg

Counselling

• TOUCHline (Counselling):

1800-377-2252

• TOUCH Care Line (for seniors, caregivers):

6804-6555

• Care Corner Counselling Centre:

1800-353-5800

Online sources

mindline.sg

My Mental Health

Fei Yue’s Online Counselling Service

Tinkle Friend

Community Health Assessment Team

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