URA Posts Clarification Following Nick Mikhail Concerns About Home Visitation
A local actor posted a complaint about safe distancing enforcement officers entering his home without a warrant on Saturday (31 Jul).
Mr Nick Mikhail was also “disappointed” that a safe distancing enforcement officer had escorted his wife alone inside the house without a female escort.
URA said in response on Monday (2 Aug) that it has reached out to Mr Nick Mikhail to address his concerns, Channel NewsAsia (CNA) reports.
It noted that safe distancing enforcement officers need not have a warrant to enter and check premises.
URA officers were conducting checks in estate including home of Nick Mikhail
Mr Nick Mikhail had posted a video on his social media talking about an incident that occurred on Saturday (31 Jul).
Officers, which he mistakenly said were from the National Environment Agency at first, had visited his home and he was disappointed at the way the inspection was conducted.
Among his grievances were that officers entered without a warrant and that his wife, who was feeling unwell, was left alone with one of the officers at one point.
CNA reports URA’s account of what occurred on Saturday (31 Jul).
It said that Mr Nick Mikhail’s neighbourhood has had repeated complaints since late June regarding noise and alleged gatherings of more than the permitted number of visitors.
6 officers, including 3 safe distancing enforcement officers from URA as well as 3 from the Singapore Police Force (SPF), were conducting enforcement checks in Mr Nick Mikhail’s estate.
This included other houses and was not limited to his residence.
URA officers saw gate was open and checked home
According to CNA, URA said that officers observed the gate was open, with house lights turned on.
They also saw 2 cars parked outside, so decided to check if there were visitors in Mr Nick Mikhail’s home.
Officers knocked on the door and identified themselves, explaining their purpose of visit after a woman opened the door.
It said the woman allowed the officers entry and escorted them to facilitate their checks.
All 3 URA safe distancing enforcement officers, including one lady, followed her in a single file for the inspection and were mostly in each other’s line of sight.
Officer was accompanied
URA also noted that towards the end of the inspection, the female occupant retrieved her IC from the next room and one of the safe distancing enforcement officers followed her to take down her details.
A police officer and a woman safe distancing enforcement officer joined them soon after.
URA said the inspection was completed in less than 10 minutes and the officers left after, having made sure that nobody else was in Mr Nick Mikhail’s house.
It noted that the officers were polite to the female occupant and treated her with respect throughout.
Officers will calibrate their approach: URA
While a warrant is not required to enter or search premises, URA noted that officers will calibrate their approach for each premise based on the case’s circumstances.
Current regulations during Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) are that there can be up to 2 distinct visitors per household per day.
Group sizes are also limited to 2 people.
Officers need to ensure compliance with measures
In ensuring that nobody is breaking Covid-19 regulations in their homes, officers are able to enter and check premises to ensure compliance.
It’s good to clarify these things as not everyone may be aware of what safe distancing enforcement officers can and cannot do.
Have news you must share? Get in touch with us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Featured image adapted from Instagram.