SINGAPORE, April 19 — A 59-year-old man was apprehended on Wednesday after he locked himself in his Lengkok Baru flat, prompting police officers — who feared that he might put himself in danger — to break into the unit.

In response to TODAY’s queries today, the police said that the man was apprehended under Section 7(1) of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) Act 2008, which provides for the admission, detention, care and treatment of mentally disordered persons in designated psychiatric institutions.

The man is also being investigated by the Central Narcotics Bureau for a drug-related offence.


Amendments to the Act were passed in Parliament on April 2, allowing police officers to apprehend a person with a mental disorder if they have a “reasonable belief” that danger to the person or people around him is “reasonably likely to occur”.

The changes also provide police officers with powers of search and restraint of subjects who are apprehended, similar to what they have when arresting criminal suspects.

In its response to TODAY, the police said that they received a call for assistance at Block 57 Lengkok Baru at about 7.50am on Wednesday.


“When police officers arrived, it was established that a 59-year-old man had locked himself in his residential unit. As it was assessed that the man might pose a danger to himself, officers from the Special Operations Command, Crisis Negotiation Unit and Singapore Civil Defence Force responded to the incident,” the police said.

The officers managed to gain entry into the unit at about 10.50am. No injuries were reported.

In a video posted on TikTok by user “zailia7276” yesterday, several police officers wearing black body armour and carrying rifles were seen standing outside a residential unit.

Then, another two officers used an electric saw to breach the unit’s main gate, releasing a shower of sparks.

Several police officers holding riot shields proceed to enter the unit after the gate is opened.

In the parliament sitting on April 2, Second Minister for Home Affairs Josephine Teo also clarified the difference between an apprehension and an arrest.

In the case of the former, the person will be taken to a medical practitioner who will determine the likely medical causes of their behaviour.

However, when someone is arrested, he will be placed in a lock-up instead, Mrs Teo said. — TODAY