SINGAPORE – Six men who were allegedly unmasked or did not wear their mask properly in public areas are being investigated by the police.
Three of them are also being probed for alleged abusive behaviour towards public servants or public service workers.
In a statement on Wednesday (May 12), police said they were alerted on April 30 to an incident involving three male stall operators, aged 26 to 37, at Block 6 Jalan Bukit Merah.
They purportedly refused to don their masks despite being advised by a safe distancing enforcement officer and two safe distancing ambassadors.
One of them hurled vulgarities at the safe distancing enforcement officer and safe distancing ambassadors.
Another incident the next day involved two male passengers, aged 57 and 65, who allegedly refused to wear their masks properly despite instructions from the bus captain and bus inspector.
The 57-year-old man is said to have hurled vulgarities and made an insulting hand gesture at the bus captain.
A commotion then ensued, which led to the disruption of the bus service. Police said the incident happened at a bus stop along Serangoon Road and the man was arrested for causing public nuisance.
A similar incident happened on a bus along Orchard Road the same day involving a 64-year-old man who allegedly refused to cooperate and raised his voice after the bus captain advised him to wear his mask properly.
Those found guilty of using abusive words against a public servant or public service worker can be fined up to $5,000 and imprisoned for not more than 12 months under the Protection from Harassment Act.
People who are found not wearing a mask or not wearing a mask properly outside their place of residence can be fined not more than $10,000 and jailed for up to six months under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020.
Those found guilty for public nuisance under the Penal Code can be jailed for up to three months and fined a maximum of $2,000.
“The police take a stern view of abusive and irresponsible behaviour relating to the flouting of safe distancing measures and offenders will be dealt with in accordance with the law,” the police said.
On Sunday, a 39-year-old man who refused to wear his mask on the MRT train was also arrested by the police for allegedly causing public nuisance and flouting distancing measures.
The police is currently also investigating a case of verbal abuse of a public servant performing his duties as a safe distancing enforcement officer following a late night altercation at Lau Pa Sat on May 8.
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