The police officers who were involved in the case of Ms Parti Liyani were found to have neglected their duties and fallen short of expectations.
This was revealed by Minister for Home Affairs K. Shanmugam on Monday (Feb 14) in response to a question raised by Mr Zhulkarnain Abdul Rahim, an MP for Chua Chu Kang GRC, in Parliament.
Mr Zhulkarnain had asked for an update on the internal investigations.
Mr Shanmugam said both the investigation officer (IO) and his supervisor had neglected their duties, resulting in lapses.
He listed three lapses that were found.
The first was that the IO did not visit the scene of crime to promptly carry out investigations and gather evidence, contributing to a break in the chain of custody for some exhibits.
The second was that the IO did not properly verify some of the claims made by parties during the investigation.
The third lapse was the supervisor not providing sufficient guidance.
The minister said the officers had done their jobs under difficult circumstances, facing workload challenges due to a manpower shortage in the police force.
“I have sympathy for the situation that they find themselves in,” he said.
“They have, however, fallen short of expectations.”
The officers have both been issued financial penalties in the form of a fine and a number of months of increments foregone.
The minister added that the IO had been under intense pressure, handling many ongoing investigations, prosecutions and conducting arrest operations.
“I have spoken before about the workload challenges that police IOs face,” said Mr Shanmugam.
“The only way to deal with this is to increase police’s headcount. We have not solved this issue yet. This is a difficult problem, and not easily solvable, given the general manpower shortage.”