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Published 17 April 2024
3-min Read
Police Life 042024 Addressing Youth Sexual Offending A Collaborative Effort for a Safer Community 01
Clockwise from left: MOS Sun Xueling touring the exhibition booths; a close-up of the OneSAFE centre; MOS Sun Xueling addressing the participants at the opening of the seminar. PHOTOS: SPF and Christabelle Lim

The SPF's Sexual Crime Awareness Seminar addressed youth sexual offending, emphasising victim support and preventive education through government-wide initiatives and collaborative efforts with our stakeholders.

By: Christabelle Lim

The Singapore Police Force (SPF) hosted the third run of the Sexual Crime Awareness Seminar on 15 April 2024, to increase awareness of the youth sexual offending situation and the criminal justice procedures for both offenders and victims.

Delivering the opening address at the seminar was Ms Sun Xueling, Minister of State, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) & Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF).

Police Life 042024 Addressing Youth Sexual Offending A Collaborative Effort for a Safer Community 02
The exhibition booth by MSF’s Clinical and Forensic Psychology Service at the seminar. PHOTO: Christabelle Lim

The seminar, coinciding with the International Sexual Assault Awareness Month, featured presentations and a closed-door panel dialogue by the SPF’s key partners and stakeholders, including the MHA’s Home Team Psychology Division (HTPD), Attorney-General’s Chambers, Ministry of Education (MOE), MSF, Singapore Prison Service, SG Her Empowerment and specialists from the Serious Sexual Crime Branch.

Supporting Victims and Reducing Offending by Youths
In 2023, over 470 youths, aged 19 and below, were arrested for sexual crimes, marking a 30% increase from the previous year. Most cases involved culprits known to the victims.

Since the establishment of the Sexual Crime and Family Violence Command (SFC) on 3 April 2023, the SPF has undertaken additional initiatives to enhance support for victims of sexual crimes.

Police Life 042024 Addressing Youth Sexual Offending A Collaborative Effort for a Safer Community 03
A room at the OneSAFE Centre, which provides sexual crime victims with a dedicated victim care area to enhance privacy and comfort during the investigation process. PHOTO: Christabelle Lim

Initiatives such as the implementation of a “Sexual Crime Report” option in the queue management system kiosk at Police stations and the redesigned One-Stop Abuse Forensic Examination (OneSAFE) Centre demonstrate the SPF’s commitment to providing increased privacy and support for victims.

There is also an upstream focus on reducing offending for youths and enhancing support for victims. For instance, a collaboration between the HTPD and MOE to develop a resource package for the early identification and intervention for youths with at-risk sexual behaviours represents a proactive step towards prevention and early intervention.

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“In the past, our responses to sexual violence have been criminal justice interventions that occur after sexual harm has been committed. But now, we aim to take collective action and harness upstream interventions to prevent youth sexual offending.” – Ms Shamala D/O Gopalakrishnan, Assistant Director/Lead Psychologist, HTPD

Collaborations with Community Partners
One of the SPF’s new partnerships is with the Singapore University of Social Sciences to train candidates pursuing their Masters in Forensic Psychology as Victim Care Officers (VCOs), thereby expanding the SPF’s pool of VCOs. This initiative allows the candidates to apply their learning in real-world situations and make an impact in the lives of victims.

Police Life 042024 Addressing Youth Sexual Offending A Collaborative Effort for a Safer Community 04
A screengrab from a video explaining processes for managing sexual crimes involving youth victims. SCREENGRAB: SPF

Recognising that addressing youth sexual offending requires a comprehensive, government-wide approach, the SPF has also developed a comprehensive video explaining the end-to-end processes for managing sexual crimes involving youth victims.

A Multi-Stakeholder Effort
The collaborative efforts of the SPF and its partners, encompassing preventive education, victim support and collaborations with diverse stakeholders, are part of a holistic and proactive strategy in addressing youth sexual offending and supporting victims of sexual crimes. The SPF reaffirms our commitment to further safeguarding and supporting victims of sexual crimes.


Read the Police News Release on the Sexual Crime Awareness Seminar 2024 and watch the videos (Part 1) and (Part 2) here!

 

 

Read Ms Sun Xueling’s opening address at the SPF Sexual Crime Awareness Seminar 2024.

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