Nov 12, 2010
CRACKDOWN ON YOUTH GANGS
Police vow to act on gangs
POLICE on Friday warned youth offenders involved in violent crimes that they will not be treated lightly simply because of their age, and vowed to deal with all gang behavior 'firmly and decisively'.
They will not hesitate to use the Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act if necessary, said a police statement in response to a recent spate of gang attacks and rioting, sparking calls from the public for stronger police action.
Police said they conduct regular enforcement rounds on the ground to flush out out gang activities. Once detected, the Secret Societies Branch would step in to investigate the extent of gang involvement by each member.
In the recent cases, a Republic a Republic Polytechnic student was fatally slashed in Downtown East on Oct 30. Five youths have been charged with the murder of Darren Ng, 19. Nineteen youths who turned up in court to support the fifth suspect also ended up being arrested on Wednesday.
On Monday evening, a 20-year-old youth was slashed by a group armed with parangs and choppers at Block 418, Fajar Road. The group is believed to have also attacked six teenage boys at Block 505, Jelapang Road. Twelve suspects have been arrested over the two attacks.
Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam told reporters at a news briefing on Friday that these attacks were not 'completely random'.
Following these incidents, police have picked up 40 suspects in an island-wide blitz and will continue to target gang-related activity in the coming weeks.
'Police will deal with all gang behaviour firmly and decisively,' said a police statement on Friday.
Police are also using preventing and proactive strategies to deal with street gangs, including giving talks to secondary school students and other rehabilitative programmes.