Making a police report or Magistrate's Complaint
Last updated: 04 August 2021
This guide provides information on making a police report in Singapore. It also contains information on filing a Magistrate’s Complaint if the police choose not to pursue your case, and if your case is eligible for one.
Remember, it is your choice whether or not to contact the police. If you are a minor, the police may inform your parent(s) or legal guardian that you have made a police report.
Prepare your evidence
You should provide as much information as you can when making a report. If you’re planning to make a report in-person, you can bring notes of what happened so that you can refer to these if you get nervous.
If you would like a structured way of organising your evidence, use our guide to preserving evidence Structuring the evidence you have, such as labelling screenshots or writing down the dates of conversations, may help the police understand your case better.
Make a police report
Making a police report online can help you avoid waiting around at a Neighbourhood Police Centre (NPC). Instead, an officer will contact you once they are available.
To make an online report, use the police report e-Service
- Log in with your SingPass and enter a valid email address to make your report. Your email address should be one that you check frequently and that is accessible only to you.
- After submitting your report, you will receive an email confirmation at the email address you entered. The email will indicate your report number, the Police Division, and the police officer in charge of your report.
- You should be contacted by the police officer in charge of your report about the status of your case and will likely be asked to give a statement.
If you don’t receive a follow up, you can contact:
- The police officer in charge of your report. Their contact number will be in the email confirmation sent to you.
- The police division in charge of your report - see General contact numbers
- If you don’t know the police division or police officer in charge of your report, you can contact the SPF Feedback Unit at 1800-358-0000.
Report in person
Go to a convenient neighbourhood police centre or a land division headquarter – see locations here
When you arrive, you might have to wait to see an officer. Once it’s your turn, the officer will take your statement.
You can ask a trusted person to accompany you for emotional support. AWARE’s Sexual Assault Care Centre also offers a Befriender service for those who identify as a woman or who are making a police report for sexual harassment/assault. A Befriender is someone who is trained and familiar with police processes.
- It may be preferable to make a police report at a land division heartquarter, as this is where Investigation Officers are stationed. If your case is investigated, this may save you some waiting time as the IO doesn’t have to travel from the land division to the NPC.
- You can ask for a female officer to take your statement. Keep in mind this might mean waiting longer until a female officer is available, and female and male officers may not differ in how they handle your case as all officers receive similar training.
You should only call the ‘999’ police emergency line when there is an urgent need for police assistance . This is when:
- A crime is in progress.
- Someone suspected of committing a crime is close by, or you know where the person is.
- A further crime might be committed.
- Someone is seriously injured or is in danger.
- When you observe suspicious characters, incidents or suspicious parcels left at public areas.
After making a report
After your statement has been taken, the police will decide whether an offence has likely been committed, and whether to begin an investigation.
If the police choose to investigate:
- You will be assigned an Investigating Officer (IO) who will oversee your case and be your main point of contact. You can call or email them for updates on how your case is progressing.
- The police will collect the evidence they deem necessary.
- There’s no fixed procedure for how an investigation proceeds, but it may include asking you to take a polygraph (‘lie detector’) test. Additionally, in the course of the investigation, the police may seize your phone or other property if necessary (for instance, to duplicate data for evidence).
- After investigating, the police will either close the case, decide to give a warning to the suspected perpetrator, or will recommend that the Attorney General Chambers (AGC – Singapore’ public prosecutors) charge the accused person in court.
If the police choose NOT to investigate, they may advise you to file a Magistrate’s Complaint (see below).
Filing a Magistrate’s Complaint
If you have made a police report for a crime but your case is not being pursued, you can choose to file a Magistrate’s Complaint to take criminal legal action. For more information, see the Singapore Courts' Guide to making a Magistrate’s Complaint
Depending on the court’s decision, a Magistrate’s Complaint may lead to mediation, further investigations, private prosecution or other outcomes. The court may also decide to close the complaint. Find an explanation of the different outcomes here: Outcomes of a Magistrate’s Complaint
- You have to be 21 years old or older to file a Magistrate’s Complaint. If you are younger than 21, your parent or guardian will have to file on your behalf.
- A Magistrate’s Complaint will cost at least $20 (this is the filing fee).
- Not all cases qualify for a Magistrate’s Complaint. You can take a Pre-Filing Assessment to determine whether your case is suitable for filing. The assessment will also help you determine whether you can achieve your desired outcome through this process.
If you have questions about your case and how the laws apply to it, or if you want to explore other options beyond making a police report/Magistrate’s Complaint, you may wish to seek professional legal assistance.
AWARE Sexual Assault Care Centre
If your case involved sexual harassment, abuse, or assault, you can reach out to the AWARE Sexual Assault Care Centre .
- Call 6779-0282 (Mon to Fri, 10am to 6pm)
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org (Mon to Fri, 10am to 6pm, replies within 3 working days)
A trained volunteer or staff will be able to provide you with a listening ear. Then, based on your needs and their service capacity, they can discuss your available options and refer you to internal or external services. This includes arranging a legal information session for you at their legal clinic, or assigning you with a Befriender who can support you in police and court processes.