Singapore's second Minister for Home Affairs Josephine Teo tabled the Immigration (Amendment) Bill in Parliament on Monday that stated that the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers will have the authority to perform security screenings, carry out search and seizure duties and arrest people.
A ministry spokesperson said that the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) would want ICA officers to perform protective security functions in support of police officers under the Integrated Checkpoints Command (ICC) concept. Hence, the ICA officers will need to be appropriately trained and empowered.
"This includes responding to incidents, conducting preliminary investigations, and containing the situation, if police officers are not yet at the scene. This will help ensure that security incidents at the checkpoints are dealt with even more promptly," the spokesperson told Channel NewsAsia.
In 2015, the ICC was launched to bring various Home Team agencies operating at the checkpoints together under a unified command and control structure.
Under the Amendment Bill, ICA will also be allowed to collect personal identifiers, such as photographs, passport details, and fingerprints, from travellers transiting through Changi Airport, if necessary.