Meaning to Vandalism Something

What does it mean to vandalise something?

Singapore criminal lawyers will define any of the following acts will count as ‘vandalism’, so long as they are done without consent from the owner of the (private) property, or the authority in charge of the (public) property.

· Writing, drawing, painting, marking or inscribing on any public property or private property any word, slogan, caricature, drawing, mark, symbol or other thing;

· Affixing, posting up or displaying on any public property or private property any poster, placard, advertisement, bill, notice, paper or other document; or

· Hanging, suspending, hoisting, affixing or displaying on or from any public property or private property any flag, bunting, standard, banner or the like with any word, slogan, caricature, drawing, mark, symbol or other thing; or

· Stealing, destroying or damaging any public property;

What can the police do to me?

The powers of the police are a topic of many civil proceedings in Singapore, and it is important to know what they can and cannot do to you. If you are caught by the police whilst vandalizing property, they can demand you show proof that you have written consent to mark the property – failure to produce this consent may result in a $500 fine.

The police can also search and seize anything (e.g. posters, placards, bunting, papers) they suspect was used in an act of vandalism.


If you are charged for Vandalism, you might be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $2,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years, and caning between 3 – 8 strokes.

Caning will not be employed as punishment if the vandalism involved removable posters/buntings or the destruction of property, or if the graffiti is non-permanent orwashable (i.e. done with pencil, crayon, chalk or other delible substance or thing and not with paint, tar or other indelible substance).

With strict laws on vandalism, it is advisable to seek legal advice from a criminallawyer in Singapore and contact acivil dispute law firm.


Shoplifting and Theft

What is the difference?

Shoplifting is a form of theft, and there is little difference legally. Both offences are charged under Section 379 of the Penal Code, and are defined in Section 378 (below):

Whoever, intending to take dishonestly any movable property out of the possession of any person without that person’s consent, moves that property in order to such taking, is said to commit theft.

What are movable properties?

Things that can be stolen include petty theft such as the belongings of others to shop stock, but can also include live animals (that the perpetrator caused to move e.g. by making dogs follow someone with bait), and large heavy objects (e.g. that move after removing an obstacle in its way).

Finding an object on the ground, and not in the possession of another person, is not grounds for theft. You will not be charged for picking up abandoned objects from the street (e.g. finding a $50 note or a ring on the floor).

However you will be charged with theft for accepting a gift you know to be someone else’s property (e.g. being offered the personal possessions of a woman, as a gift from her husband who you know has not been authorized to take her things – accepting the gift is theft). For further information, please contact your Singapore criminal lawyer.


Shoplifters and thieves may face prison for up to 3 years, or a fine, or both.

Should you have any questions or need legal advice or representation, kindly contact our criminal lawyers at Gloria James-Civetta & Co on 6337-0469 for a free consultation, or email to