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  1. #1

    What are the powers of private security guards in Singapore?

    Hi, need some advice from ppl well-versed with Singapore law... I tried searching the Singapore statutes website but couldn't find answers...

    This is driven by some bad experiences by those private security guards.
    Once i walked into my alma mater school to see teacher, kena KPKB by the security guard until i srsly want to slap his face.
    Then got another time i shopping with friend at Mustafa he kena accused of shoplifting (walk near the exit the alarm beep), then the security guard escort him upstairs for interrogation and body search. I at that moment don't know whether they have authority to do that, so don't dare to call police. In the end they even bring him down to police station, but no charges filed. Another super dulan experience.

    Questions:
    1. Those security guard wear the slanted stripe rank = private security guard, not auxiliary police right?
    2. Can security guards arrest people? Under what circumstances?
    3. Can security guards conduct body search? Under what circumstances?
    4. I suppose security guard can record IC number for security purpose, but are they allowed to "exchange IC for pass" like military camps?
    5. Last but not least, do security guards have any other powers bestowed upon them?

    And importantly, where in the Singapore law does it talk about the power of private security guards?
    Last edited by Trivolve; Mar 5th, 11 at 09:07 PM.
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  2. #2
    bad luck. All "yes"

  3. #3
    Is there any singapore law or acts that says they have such powers... cause I can't find. And most western countries, police and private security guard have very different powers...
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  4. #4
    ♥ Lightning ♥ 9VARZ's Avatar
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    2 & 5: No.

    3: questionable

    1 & 4: Yes. But for 4, that's subject to local jurisdiction. This scenario is usually reserved for highly sensitve areas only.

    You are right about the laws. Can't exactly recall which statute, though.
    But AFAIK, only the Police (SPF) have the powers of arrest and detention during peacetime ops. Even auxilliary police like AETOS or CISCO don't (IIRC).

    Body search is not allowed for private security. But they are allowed to conduct bag search. Pat down...probably allowed only at certain places. But then again, they must have a valid reason for doing so.
    Views expressed are my own.

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  5. #5
    Oh ya forgot to ask... are they able to like hold you for "questioning" (aka interrogation) while waiting for police? and is their reasonable suspicion of a theft/crime all that is required for them to hold someone?
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  6. #6
    2 and 3 is yes. the powers of arrest used by a police man is the same for an average joe. there is no special law for policeman.

    the right to search falls under right for self defence, u can choose not to enter a private estate, that is your choice but once u insist u waver that right.

    proyb2 is correct all yes.

  7. #7
    security guard have to go through law and policing course...

    If a security guard VS a normal person on whitness, sure police will belive security guard first.

  8. #8
    $GAWD ლ(ಠ益ಠლ) Y U NO $$!? moneygod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LgO-sluglives View Post
    the right to search falls under right for self defence, u can choose not to enter a private estate, that is your choice but once u insist u waver that right.
    quoted.


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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9VARZ View Post
    But AFAIK, only the Police (SPF) have the powers of arrest and detention during peacetime ops. Even auxilliary police like AETOS or CISCO don't (IIRC).
    Negative since they can perform a citizen's arrest for certain crimes just like you and me.

  10. #10
    ♥ Lightning ♥ 9VARZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabe View Post
    Negative since they can perform a citizen's arrest for certain crimes just like you and me.
    Interesting. Time for me to look into the rulebook again.

    Everytime I go out on POI/KINS ops, I don't seem to possess the rights to such powers.
    Views expressed are my own.

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  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by 9VARZ View Post
    Interesting. Time for me to look into the rulebook again.

    Everytime I go out on POI/KINS ops, I don't seem to possess the rights to such powers.
    Only when there are witness or if you are the witness, of course you have to capability to apprehen the offender. You may even to the extend kill an offender arm with dangerous weapon for self-defence or to save the victims live.

  12. #12
    citizen's arrest can be for what kind of crimes? can be abit ambiguous sometimes... if someone wonder into private property accidentally the owner have the right to conduct citizen's arrest but it may be viewed by the innocent trespasser as assault, which can then invoke a more violent response in self-defence.
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  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Trivolve
    citizen's arrest can be for what kind of crimes? can be abit ambiguous sometimes... if someone wonder into private property accidentally the owner have the right to conduct citizen's arrest but it may be viewed by the innocent trespasser as assault, which can then invoke a more violent response in self-defence.
    tat is for the courts to fight it out... why lawyers get paid.

    in the southern states, u wonder onto someone's land, u will get shot even if u are a cop...

    most of the commonwealth countries have the same laws with regards to this.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by 9VARZ
    Interesting. Time for me to look into the rulebook again.

    Everytime I go out on POI/KINS ops, I don't seem to possess the rights to such powers.
    somebody was asleep in class huh
    gazette locations is pretty clear cut... that one SDP has the most experience hahaaahaa
    Last edited by LgO-sluglives; Mar 6th, 11 at 10:45 PM.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Trivolve View Post
    This is driven by some bad experiences by those private security guards.
    Once i walked into my alma mater school to see teacher, kena KPKB by the security guard until i srsly want to slap his face.

    Then got another time i shopping with friend at Mustafa he kena accused of shoplifting (walk near the exit the alarm beep), then the security guard escort him upstairs for interrogation and body search. I at that moment don't know whether they have authority to do that, so don't dare to call police. In the end they even bring him down to police station, but no charges filed. Another super dulan experience.
    Why do I have a feeling that TS intend to do something wrong and then use those laws to counter the security guards in hope that they lack the knowledge of it and take advantage of the situation.

    As a visitor to your alma mater school, you are considered an outsider and it is up to the school and security guard to let you in. They dun let you in, but you insist and they kpkb I dun see anything wrong.

    As for the second experience, I believe that the security guards will not send him to police station if they did not find any evidence during the interrogation and body search. If they did really find something that would put your friend under suspicion, then the interrogation and body search is well warranted for.

    No charges file probably because there was a lack of evidence, example an item found in your friend's bag that has the price tag of Mustafa Center without receipt. Your friend can say he threw the proof of purchase away or did not take, while the CCTV fail to capture any footage of your friend stealing items. Again this sounds suspiciously like someone buay song after his theft attempt was caught by security guards.

    Sorry for my suspicions, those are purely my own unsupported opinions and should be ignored.

    Anyway, I am happy to see security guards being strict than seeing them slacking away. At least they are doing their job.

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