Prevent Crime

Snatch Theft

Your report discloses an offence of snatch theft. This page provides you with information on what the Police are doing to follow up on your case, as well as some of the measures you can take to avoid falling victim to such crimes again in the future.

NOW THAT I HAVE LODGED A POLICE REPORT, WHAT WILL HAPPEN?

Once a Police report is lodged at a Neighbourhood Police Centre (NPC) or Neighbourhood Police Post (NPP) our officers will provide you with a copy of the Police report and advise you on the next course of action. If your case was reported through the '999' Police Emergency Line, you will not be given a copy of the recorded transcripts. If you require a written report for your record, you can lodge a Police report at any NPC or NPP.

If your case is under investigation, the Investigation Officer in-charge of the case will inform you of the preliminary status of your case within 7 working days. He will also keep you updated on the subsequent developments of your case.

An investigation is the process where the Police make inquiries to uncover what has happened. Police conduct investigations to find out the truth behind an allegation and whether there is evidence that a criminal offence has been committed.

Our officers may conduct interviews to obtain details of the case. What a witness says during an interview may be recorded in a Police statement for future reference.

IF I HAVE FURTHER INFORMATION REGARDING THE CASE, WHAT SHOULD I DO?

If you have further leads or information on your case, you should inform the Investigation Officer in-charge of the case promptly. If you are unsure who the Investigation Officer in-charge of your case is, you may call the phone number reflected in your Police report, or on the Case Card.

WHO CAN BE CALLED UP FOR INVESTIGATION?

Anyone whom our officers believe has knowledge of the facts of the case may be called up for investigations. The length of the Police interview would depend on the nature of the case and how much information the Police require from the person(s) being interviewed.

WHEN WILL I KNOW THAT THE INVESTIGATION IS COMPLETED?

This will depend on the nature and the prevailing circumstances of the case. For instance, if there are several suspects involved or a series of crimes have been committed, the investigation may take a longer time to complete. Our officers will keep you informed of the key milestones and the outcome of investigation in writing.

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE INVESTIGATION IS COMPLETED?

If there is sufficient evidence that a criminal offence has taken place, our officers will charge the suspect(s) in court. On the other hand, if no offence can be substantiated, our officers will cease the investigation. Our officers will write to the victim(s) of the crime and/or the complainant(s) to inform him/her of the outcome of the investigation.

WHAT CAN I DO TO AVOID FALLING VICTIM TO SUCH CRIMES IN THE FUTURE?

Snatch thieves expect you to be off guard when they strike, and all they need is a few seconds to make their getaway. The methods below are common ways used to distract attention:

  • Approaching victim on the pretext of striking up a conversation, seeking assistance, changing cash, etc.
  • Snatching handbag/necklace/valuables from the rear.
  • Soiling a victim’s clothing and offering to clean dirty stains on it.
  • Telling a victim that his money has dropped on the floor.

Here are some measures you can take to avoid falling victim to snatch theft in the future.

For Everyone

  • Avoid taking shortcuts through dark alleys or secluded areas.
  • Always be alert and attentive to your surroundings. If you suspect that you are being followed, remain calm and proceed to a more crowded area or call the Police to seek help.
  • Avoid wearing excessive jewellery or carrying large sums of cash.
  • When walking, clutch your handbag tightly under your arm and its strap slung across the body. This is especially necessary when moving around in crowded places like shopping centres and markets.
  • When on the streets, carry your handbag on the side that is away from moving traffic. There have been instances where snatch thieves used motorcycles or other vehicles to snatch away the victim’s handbag while riding by.
  • When returning home alone or late at night, arrange for someone to escort you home.
  • Carry a shrill alarm with you and use it to scare off the culprit or to attract the attention of other members of public.

For Parents

  • Do not let your children wear expensive jewellery especially when going to school, playgrounds or shopping centres.
  • Advise your children to avoid walking in dark or deserted places.
  • Teach your children to be wary of strangers and not to follow them. They should inform their teacher or you, if strangers approach them in public.

Should you be a victim of crime, do not resist. Remain calm and take note of the description of the culprit, e.g. his appearance, clothing, height and other physical details. Also note the direction taken by the culprit and his mode of escape. You can use buildings and landmarks to describe the culprit’s direction of flight, e.g. towards ‘ABC Shopping Centre’. Call the Police as soon as it is safe to do so.

Last Updated on 21 April 2016