News has been circulating on social media and online forums that a gun-related incident has brought on the full force of the Special Operations Command (SOC) and the Police outside Peace Centre. Some circulating the photos of the police and SOC vehicles at Sophia Road suggesting that it was a shooting incident that the Police were responding to.
Some onlookers commented online that the situation was surreal but calm. But comments such this by witnesses of the incident did not do much to quell the theories of cover-ups and conspiracies online.
The Police have now clarified that they did deploy multiple police vehicles, including SOC tactical vehicles and police cars at Sophia Road, but that the incident was not gun or shooting related. They said that they were responding to a drug related case at 9.20am this morning (13 July) and that a 40-year-old man and a 26-year-old woman were arrested for suspected drug-related offences. Police investigations are ongoing.
In June 2015, a police officer was hurt in a shooting incident in Khoo Teck Puat hospital. According to local media reports, a suspect was being escorted to the hospital because he complained of chest pains. There, he attempted to escape and snatched the officer’s gun from the holder. The police officer sustained gunshot wounds to his thumb and foot from the attack.
In an update by the Singapore Police Force on their Facebook the next day, the 24-year-old was charged under the Arms Offences Act, which is punishable by death.
Such incidents involving guns are rare in Singapore, with strict laws put in place, but cases of gun crimes do happen.
Firearms related crimes are rare in Singapore. The Arms Offences Act criminalises the illegal possession of arms and ammunition and the carrying, trafficking, and usage of arms.
Imported toy guns must be approved by a Licensing officer from the Arms and Explosives Division (A&E) of the Singapore Police Force. Any toy gun that resembles a real gun will not be approved. No licence is issued for toy guns.
According to the law in Singapore, any person who unlawfully carries any arm shall be guilty of an offence and shall on conviction be punished with imprisonment for a term of not less than 5 years and not more than 14 years and shall also be punished with caning with not less than 6 strokes.