SPF STATEMENT ON AWARE’S FACEBOOK POST CRITICISING SPF’S CRIME PREVENTION POSTER
We refer to comments made by AWARE on Police crime prevention posters, warning against outrage of modesty. These posters are displayed on the public transport network.
These posters are part of crime prevention visuals that the Police have produced in collaboration with the National Crime Prevention Council and Singapore Polytechnic’s Media, Arts & Design School. Other crimes such as shop theft and dishonest misappropriation of property are also featured in these visuals.
These visuals target potential perpetrators, and specifically highlight the punishments for committing the criminal acts, in order to send a strong deterrent message.
AWARE has criticised the posters, on the basis that they focus on the punishment, and do not refer to the harm suffered by the victim. AWARE does not seem to have understood the purpose of the posters.
The posters are designed to warn would-be offenders, who are unable to exercise self discipline or control themselves, regardless of their knowledge of the harm that their act will cause to the victim. The visuals were designed to influence their behaviour, by telling them what punishment they will face. AWARE’s suggestion, on the other hand, is unlikely to have the intended deterrent effect on such offenders.
The Police fully acknowledge that outrage of modesty victims suffer from trauma and other consequences. Indeed, and for this reason, the objective of these visuals is to prevent such harmful actions in the first place, by driving home the point that outrage of modesty is an egregious offence with serious penalties. Hence, our crime prevention messages are carefully curated, based on our understanding of the profile of offenders.
It is unfortunate that AWARE has chosen to make these public judgements against the Police without any attempt to contact us to understand our perspective, despite having worked with us in the past to enhance support to victims of sexual offences.