Friday, May 18, 2007

Filing a police report in cases of abuse

I realise there still seems to be some confusion on how to file a police report and whom can file a police report in the case of abuse. We have a fact sheet which I can email anyone who would like it, but I thought it would be good to do a recap.

  1. Only the witness can file a police report.
If anyone else who did not directly witness the crime tries to file a police report, it's not accepted because it will be considered hearsay evidence and carries no weight. The only person who can file a report (and testify if there is a trial) is someone who witnessed the crime or came across evidence. There are exceptions to this rule but they are few (ie if you come across a dying person and he or she tells you whom the murderer is).

2. Gather evidence

If the cat is alive, bring it to the vet for a checkup. If it is dead, it should be brought either to the AVA or the vet for a necropsy to determine what killed it. Do NOT bury the body, and do not wait - in Singapore's humid weather, bodies do not keep very long. Otherwise, the body may start to decompose, making it impossible to determine cause of death.

Take photos and gather what evidence you can. If there are other witnesses around, ask for their contact details so you can contact them if their testimony is needed if the case goes to court.

3. The act complained of must be an offence.

This seems to be obvious but while some things seem abhorrent to people, they are not actually a crime. In cases of animal abuse, Section 42 of the Animal and Birds Act defines
what constitutes as abuse. You can see this Act (and under statutes) on Singapore Statutes online.

Some officers are still unsure of the legislation, so it's not a bad idea to get hold of a copy and show it to the officers if queried.

4. Inform the AVA.

5. Inform the welfare groups if you wish.

This is not of course intended to be legal advise - and you should always seek professional legal advise if you need it - but a short guide to suggest what you may want to do.



Blogger Mary said...

Hi Dawn, please email a copy to me. Thanks in advance.

18/5/07 2:41 PM  
Anonymous cat talk said...

In the previous serial killings, 98% of the victims were buried and removed. No one knew except cleaners and feeders. They had some communication/credibility issues at Police station.

Most of the time, feeders cried, lost sleep and fell into deep depression.
One section on moral support like where to receive emotional, legal and financial support.

18/5/07 3:16 PM  
Blogger eslina said...

Hi Dawn. please email me a copy too. Thanks!

18/5/07 3:17 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

eslina it's in the caregiver TNRM pack actually.

cat talk I'm sorry to hear that. I think in terms of legal and financial support, there really isn't a need for much of it in the case of a dead cat once it becomes a police case. If the cat is injured or hurt the caregiver can always write in to us.

18/5/07 5:43 PM  

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