Crime prevention must respect human rights

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COMMENT Suaram is extremely concerned about the use of the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (PCA) to address the incidence of crime. We believe the Act could be easily misused, and call on the authorities to ensure that any steps taken to prevent crime be based on the rule of law and human rights standards.


The PCA was created to control ‘criminals, members of secret societies and other undesirable persons’. It allows for arrest for certain crimes, followed by an inquiry to determine if the accused should be placed on a register and under restrictions.

Under this law a person can be detained for a maximum period of 71 days. It is currently being used as part of police operation known as Ops Cantas and more than 200 suspected criminals have been arrested since Aug 17.

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