Phone threats is a non-seizable offence

I’ve learnt another new thing today. Phone threats is a Non-seizable offence.

No action on phone threat
My husband received a verbal threat via his mobile phone last Wednesday. The caller, who knew my husband’s name, threatened to inflict bodily harm on him and his family. My husband made a police report the same day at the Bedok North station. No one from the police post has called us since. If the caller’s intention was real, wouldn’t we be dead or harmed by now? I have read reports about how the police acted swiftly when similar threats were made against a grassroots leader. How do the police decide which cases to investigate first in apparently similar reports?
Madam Tan Lian Gim

Phone threats a non-seizable offence
WE REFER to Madam Tan Lian Gim’s letter, ‘No action on phone threat’ (March 11). Under the law, verbal threat is a non-seizable offence where the police have limited powers of investigation and arrests. Nonetheless, when a report is made, the police will look into the facts and if no aggravating factor is found, the police will advise the complainant to lodge a complaint before a magistrate, who has the power to direct further action as provided under the law.
The magistrate can direct the police to lawfully investigate the case and take further action where appropriate.
In Madam Tan’s case, the police had found no aggravating factor and Madam Tan’s husband was thus advised to lodge a magistrate’s complaint accordingly.
DSP Paul Tay,
Assistant Director,
Media Relations,
Singapore Police Force

OK, so a phone threat is a non-seizable offence. Which means the police cannot arrest you on the spot. The person need to lodge a complaint to the magistrate before the police can take action. Likewise, assault is also a non-seizable offence. A 17 year old boy was beaten up on the MRT recently and the police also advice him to make a magistrate report.
Then we read about news of a Rag-and-Bone man being charge for threatening to cause hurt to Jalan Besar GRC Member of Parliament Denise Phua. The Rag-and-bone man called a hotline (Which MP Denise Phua wasn’t manning) and say he wanted to hit her. So why is it that the person who threaten Madam Tan’s husband wasn’t arrested?
Everyone is equal. But some are more equal than others. Sigh.


  1. This is a law to lessen the work of the police.
    This is a law to reduce the criminal statistics.
    This is a law to create a Disneyland (with death penalty).
    Welcome to the world of Number Ones.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *