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Nov 24, 2010
CRACKDOWN ON YOUTH VIOLENCE
Curfew for at-risk youths?
By Teh Joo Lin
SPEECH BY MR K SHANMUGAM, MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS AND MINISTER FOR LAW
ST FILE PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW
TO TACKLE the problem of youth gangs, the police may be armed with additional powers such as getting at-risk youths to observe curfew hours and to attend intervention programmes.
The Ministry of Home Affairs is studying the feasibility of giving the police this kind of clout, so they 'can intervene upstream', that is, step in before errant youths form loose gang associations, said its minister K. Shanmugam in Parliament yesterday.
Giving an update on gang violence, he made it clear that the police have a 'zero-tolerance' policy towards gang activities and will hold on to this stance.
The police have picked up 144 suspected gang members since the end of last month. They include the eight youths since charged with murder in the Downtown East slashing case, and the six linked to the armed rioting in Bukit Panjang, who are being processed for criminal detention.
Mr Shanmugam, who is concurrently Minister for Law, said 45 per cent of the rioting cases this year involved young persons; about 32 per cent of them were linked to secret societies.
Noting the current of 'understandable public concern' over the recent incidents, he assured the House that the police took a serious view of such violence.
Read the full story in Wednesday's edition of The Straits Times.