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The Straits Times
Apr 13, 2022
A police officer received the maximum fine of $3,000 on Wednesday (April 13) after pleading guilty to two charges of using criminal force on two full-time national servicemen (NSF) in 2020.
Yick Wai Hong, now 47, had in two separate incidents forced the heads of both NSFs down towards his waist during night duty at a police facility.
This caused one victim's forehead to touch Yick's groin area, while in the other incident, the second NSF's head came close.
Yick, who was suspended by the police from April 8 last year, was earlier charged with molestation, which had been amended before Wednesday's hearing.
The Straits Times understands that he is still with the police force.
The victims and their workplace cannot be identified owing to a gag order to protect their identities.
The court heard that Yick, who served as a station inspector, had numerous commendations over a 25-year career.
His duty then as the assistant duty officer required him to monitor surveillance equipment, and there were a team of NSFs under his charge.
During a night shift on the morning of Jan 23, 2020, Yick asked an NSF, then 21, if he wanted to take a break from duty, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Yen Seow.
The NSF accepted the offer, but as he stood up, Yick shoved his head towards his waist. The incident was caught on a surveillance camera.
"The victim was shocked, disgusted and humiliated. His face was a finger's length away from (Yick's) groin," DPP Tan said.
The NSF did not report the incident until Jan 24, when he described the incident in a feedback form for NSFs about to complete their service. He later reported the matter to the police.
When the victim's superiors asked the other NSFs if they had any similar encounters, they found that Yick had done the same to another NSF, then 23, during another night shift that month or before.
The NSF had reached out to take some snacks from a table and Yick, who was leaning against the table near him, forced his head downwards such that his forehead touched Yick's groin area.
Seeking a fine that was left up to the judge's decision, DPP Tan said that Yick abused his position of trust, letting the junior officers down.
He added: "(Juniors) are typically worried about speaking out about their superiors, and this is telling in that the first victim did not raise the issue to his superiors until an ORD (operationally ready date) form was given to him."
Seeking a fine of $1,600 for Yick, defence lawyer Marshall Lim said that there was no sexual intent behind Yick's actions, adding that the incident was a "painful fall from grace" for the officer with numerous commendations.
Mr Lim said: "He was not motivated by lust; he wanted to remind the two younger officers of the need to perform their duties with diligence.
"But he appreciates that he ought not to have lashed out using force."
DPP Tan replied, saying investigations did not show that the victims had been negligent in their duties in any way.
In a statement to ST on Wednesday, the police said: “Station Inspector Yick was interdicted from service since April 8, 2021. Following his conviction on Wednesday, the police has commenced internal action against him.”
The police spokesman added: “Officers of the Singapore Police Force are expected to uphold the law and maintain high standards of discipline and integrity. We deal with officers who break the law severely, including charging them in court.”
The maximum penalty for using criminal force on a person is three months' jail and a fine of $1,500.