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January 29 2016

Singapore Criminal Records Could Be Shared With Overseas Law Enforcement Agencies

Local police could soon share the particulars of convicted individuals, including their criminal records and fingerprints, with foreign law enforcement agencies. A Bill tabled in Parliament on Jan 29 proposes changes to the Registration of Criminals Act. Under the Act, particulars of criminals such as their fingerprints, photographs and DNA information are captured in the Register of Criminals. It is used for example, when the court sentences a repeat offender. The Home Affairs Ministry said this is to strengthen cooperation with enforcement agencies overseas.

But the proposed changes do not include sharing of DNA information. The Home Affairs Ministry also said foreign law enforcement agencies must protect the confidentiality of the information shared, and to use it only for crime prevention or criminal investigation. The ministry said this will boost the effectiveness of agencies here to solve crimes, especially in cases where there are no opportunities to take fingerprints and body samples within 48 hours of arrest.