Police Arrest Procedure in Singapore

Last updated on January 14, 2021

Man being arrested by policemen

In Singapore, some offences are arrestable in nature, i.e. an arrest can be made without the need for a warrant when the police officer reasonably suspects a man of committing a serious offence. Such offences include rape, robbery, theft, drug consumption or causing serious hurt.

For non-arrestable offences however, warrants will have to be made out to allow the police to make an arrest. For example, when a police report is made regarding a case of voluntarily causing hurt, the police will conduct investigations first before deciding whether to issue a warrant of arrest.

The police will use reasonable force to make an arrest. Handcuffs may be employed. Additionally, the person being arrested has the right to ask for identification of the police officer making the arrest and also for the reason of arrest, but only when it is practical to do so.

The accused may be searched upon arrest. Women must be searched by women, according to section 83 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Upon arrival at the police station or detention centre, the accused is allowed to consult a lawyer while under police custody within a reasonable time, in accordance with Article 9 of the Constitution. Family members may also be contacted through reasonable means.

However, these requests may be refused if they interfere with investigations. The accused will usually be detained for 48 hours at most, but police can obtain a Magistrate’s order to extend the custody.

The police may require the person to make either a witness statement or a notice statement. A notice statement is required when police have decided to press charges against the accused. Before the police requests for a notice statement, a notice regarding the charge will be given to the accused in writing and read out to him:

“You have been charged with [or informed that you may be prosecuted for] (set out the charge).

Do you want to say anything about the charge that was just read to you? If you keep quiet now about any fact or matter in your defence and you reveal this fact or matter in your defence only at your trial, the judge may be less likely to believe you. This may have a bad effect on your case in court.

Therefore it may be better for you to mention such fact or matter now. If you wish to do so, what you say will be written down, read back to you for any mistakes to be corrected and then signed by you.”

In accordance with section 23 of the Criminal Procedure Code, the accused person has the right to remain silent after the notice is read out to him. However, an adverse inference may be drawn from such silence. In other words, the police may infer guilt from his refusal to give a statement.

Arrest and Investigation
  1. How to Write a Letter of Representation to AGC in Singapore
  2. What is Entrapment and is It Legal in Singapore?
  3. Juvenile Crime: What If Your Child is Arrested in Singapore?
  4. Police Investigation Process in Singapore
  5. Arrest Warrant Issued Against You in Singapore: What to Do
  6. Police Arrest Procedure in Singapore
  7. Arrestable and Non-Arrestable Offences in Singapore
  8. What Should You Do If You Witness a Crime in Singapore?
  9. Can the Public Make a Citizen's Arrest in Singapore?
  10. What to Do If You’re Being Investigated for a Criminal Offence in Singapore
  11. "Right to Remain Silent" to Singapore Police: Does It Exist?
  12. Police Custody in Singapore: What You Should Know
  13. Search Warrant: The Issuance and Execution of It in Singapore
  14. Penalties for Lying to the Authorities in Singapore
  15. Can You Say No to a Lie Detector Test in Singapore? And Other FAQs
  16. Surrender of Passport to the Police and How to Get It Back
  17. Extradition: What If I Flee After Committing Crime in Singapore
Bail
  1. The Essential Guide to Bail and Personal Bonds in Singapore
Prosecution
  1. What is Private Prosecution?
  2. Magistrate’s Complaints, Private Summons and Private Prosecutions in Singapore
  3. Prosecutorial Discretion in Singapore
  4. Compounding or Composition of Offences in Singapore
  5. Plea Bargaining in Singapore: All You Need to Know
During Criminal Proceedings
  1. What is Acquittal & How Can One Be Acquitted in Singapore?
  2. Can I Represent Myself in a Criminal Court Case in Singapore and How?
  3. Claiming Trial as an Accused
  4. Pleading Guilty in Singapore: Consequences & Withdrawal of Plea
  5. The Defence of Unsound Mind in Singapore: What is It?
  6. Gag Orders in Singapore: Whose Identity Can be Protected?
  7. Mitigation Plea: How to Plead for Leniency in Court in Singapore
After Criminal Proceedings
  1. Recidivism: What Happens If You Reoffend in Singapore?
  2. Guide to Filing a Criminal Appeal in Singapore
  3. Criminal Motion: What is It and How to File One in Singapore
  4. Guide to Filing a Criminal Revision in Singapore
  5. Presidential Clemency in Singapore
  6. Repatriation or Deportation from Singapore: How Does It Work?
  7. Criminal Records in Singapore
  8. Visiting a Loved One in Prison or On Death Row in Singapore
  9. Getting Parole (Early Prison Release) in Singapore
Types of Sentences After Committing an Offence
  1. How Long Is Life Imprisonment in Singapore? And Other FAQs
  2. Consequences of Receiving a Stern Warning in Singapore
  3. Probation: Eligibility and Whether It Leaves a Criminal Record
  4. How Can Adult Offenders Get Probation in Singapore?
  5. Reformative Training in Singapore: When Will It be Ordered?
  6. Are You Eligible for a Mandatory Treatment Order (MTO)?
  7. Caning in Singapore: Judicial, School & Parental Corporal Punishment
  8. 7 Detention Orders in Singapore: When Will They be Ordered?
  9. Day Reporting Order: Eligibility and Offender's Obligations
Being a Victim
  1. Laws Protecting Informers/Whistleblowers in Singapore
  2. Counterfeit Medicine/Health Products: Redress for Victims in Singapore
  3. Using Your Right to Self-Defence When Attacked in Singapore
  4. Compensation for Crime Victims in Singapore: How to Obtain
Offences Against the Human Body
  1. Voluntarily Causing Hurt Penalties in Singapore (Non-Arrestable)
  2. Murder vs Culpable Homicide in Singapore (and Penalties)
  3. Is Suicide Illegal in Singapore? Will I Be Punished for Trying?
  4. Kidnapping Scam: Penalties & Responding to a ‘Kidnap Call/Text'
Sexual Offences
  1. Rape Laws in Singapore and How Offenders Can Be Punished
  2. Sexual Misconduct in Singapore: Offences and What Victims Can Do
  3. Falsely Accused of Rape in Singapore: What to Do
  4. How are Sexual Offenders with Special Needs Penalised?
  5. Legal Age for Sex in Singapore and Common Sexual Offences
  6. Consent in Sexual Offences in Singapore and What Victims Can Do
  7. Accused of Molest: Outrage of Modesty in Singapore
  8. What Can Victims of Sexual Harassment in Singapore Do?
  9. What is the Law on Sexting in Singapore?
  10. Revenge Porn: What If Your Nudes are Leaked in Singapore?
  11. Crime of Voyeurism in Singapore (Penalties and Defences)
  12. Date Rape: What to Do If Your Drink Has Been Unlawfully Spiked?
  13. STDs: Can I Go to the Police If a Partner Infected Me in Singapore?
Vice-Related Offences
  1. Singapore's Legal Smoking Age & Common Smoking Offences
  2. Is Vaping Illegal in Singapore?
  3. Legal Drinking Age and Drinking-Related Laws in Singapore
  4. Is Watching, Downloading or Filming Porn Illegal in Singapore?
  5. Child Pornography in Singapore: Offences and Penalties
  6. Laws on Procuring Sex Workers & Sexual Services in Singapore
  7. Singapore's Drug Laws: Possession, Consumption and Trafficking
  8. Gambling Legally (In Public or Online) in Singapore
  9. The Offence of Human Trafficking in Singapore and Its Penalties
Property Offences
  1. Penalties for Committing Theft in Singapore
  2. Committing Robbery in Singapore: What are the Penalties?
  3. Penalties for Dishonest Misappropriation of Property in Singapore
  4. Vandalism Laws: Penalties for Damaging Property in Singapore
  5. Criminal Trespass in Singapore: What Happens If You’re Caught?
  6. Penalties for Littering and Killer Litter Offences in Singapore
Cybercrime
  1. Penalties for Cheating/Scamming and What Victims Can Do
  2. Penalties for Impersonating Someone and Victim Redress
  3. Singapore Fake News Laws: Guide to POFMA (Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act)
  4. Laws and Penalties for Doxxing in Singapore (With Examples)
White-Collar Crimes
  1. Criminal Breach of Trust (CBT) in Singapore: What is It?
  2. All You Need to Know About Corruption in Singapore
  3. Anti-Money Laundering Laws and You
  4. 5 Things You Need to Know about Insider Trading
  5. Dishonest Assistance and Knowing Receipt: The Case of David Rasif
Road Offences
  1. Charged with a Traffic Offence in Singapore: What to Do
  2. DUI: Here are the Penalties for Drink-Driving in Singapore
  3. What Happens If You’re Caught Speeding in Singapore?
  4. Road Rage: What is It and How are Offenders Sentenced in Singapore
  5. Penalties for Dangerous Driving for Singapore Drivers
  6. Fatal Traffic Accidents: Are Drivers Always Punished?
  7. Guide to E-Scooter and PMD Laws for Singapore Riders
  8. Is it Legal for Drivers to Carpool in Singapore?
Animal-Related Offences
  1. Is It Illegal to Feed Stray Animals in Singapore?
  2. Singapore Animal Abuse Offences, Penalties & How to Report
Offences Relating to Public Peace and Good Order
  1. Public Assemblies and Processions in Singapore
  2. Misbehaving in Public: 5 Things You Need to Know
  3. Racial Enmity: Sections 298 and 298A Penal Code Explained
  4. Religious Cults in Singapore: Are they Illegal? Penalties & More
  5. Penalties for Financing Terrorist Operations in Singapore
Gang and Riot-related Offences
  1. Penalties for Unlawful Assembly and Rioting in Singapore
  2. Is Joining a Gang Illegal in Singapore?: Being Recruited and Penalties
  3. Organised Crimes: Penalties/Orders Syndicates Face in Singapore
Marriage-Related Offences
  1. What are Sham Marriages and Are They Illegal in Singapore?
Certificate of Clearance
  1. How Do You Apply for a Certificate of Clearance in Singapore?
Other Criminal Offences
  1. Here are the Penalties for Committing Forgery in Singapore
  2. Arson and Fire-Related Offences and Their Penalties in Singapore
  3. Laws on Prohibited, Replica and Self-Defence Weapons
  4. Expats Charged With Offences in Singapore: What to Expect
  5. What are the Penalties for Hiring Phantom Workers in Singapore?
  6. Penalties for Illegal Immigration and Overstaying in Singapore
  7. Criminal Intimidation: Penalties for Making Threats in Singapore