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House Breaking

7 min read
Housebreaking offences in Singapore

Housebreaking offences in Singapore are governed by the penal code chapters 441 to 462.

Criminal trespass
  • 441. Whoever enters into or upon property in the possession of another with intent to commit an offence or to intimidate, insult or annoy any person in possession of such property, or having lawfully entered into or upon such property, unlawfully remains there with intent thereby to intimidate, insult or annoy any such person, or with intent to commit an offence, is said to commit “criminal trespass”.
House-trespass
  • 442. Whoever commits criminal trespass by entering into, or remaining in, any building, tent or vessel used as a human dwelling, or any building used as a place for worship or as a place for the custody of property, is said to commit “house-trespass”.

[The introduction of any part of the criminal trespasser’s body is entering sufficient to constitute house-trespass.]

Lurking house-trespass
  • 443. Whoever commits house-trespass, having taken precautions to conceal such house-trespass from some person who has a right to exclude or eject the trespasser from the building, tent or vessel which is the subject of the trespass, is said to commit “lurking house-trespass”.
Lurking house-trespass by night
  • 444. Whoever commits lurking house-trespass after 7 p.m. and before 7 a.m., is said to commit “lurking house-trespass by night”
House-breaking
  • 445. A person is said to commit “house-breaking”, who commits house-trespass if he effects his entrance into the house or any part of it in any of the 6 ways hereinafter described; or if, being in the house or any part of it for the purpose of committing an offence, or having committed an offence therein, he quits the house or any part of it in any of such 6 ways:

(a) if he enters or quits through a passage made by himself, or by any abettor of the house-trespass, in order to the committing of the house-trespass;
(b) if he enters or quits through any passage not intended by any person, other than himself or an abettor of the offence, for human entrance; or through any passage to which he has obtained access by scaling or climbing over any wall or building;
(c) if he enters or quits through any passage which he or any abettor of the house-trespass has opened, in order to the committing of the house-trespass, by any means by which that passage was not intended by the occupier of the house to be opened;
(d) if he enters or quits by opening any lock in order to the committing of the house-trespass, or in order to the quitting of the house after a house-trespass;
(e) if he effects his entrance or departure by using criminal force or committing an assault, or by threatening any person with assault;
(f) if he enters or quits by any passage which he knows to have been fastened against such entrance or departure, and to have been unfastened by himself or by an abettor of the house-trespass.

[Any outhouse or building occupied with a house, and between which and such house there is an immediate internal communication, is part of the house within the meaning of this section.]

House-breaking by night
  • 446.  Whoever commits house-breaking after 7 p.m. and before 7 a.m., is said to commit “house-breaking by night”.
House-breaking for criminal trespass
  • 447. Whoever commits criminal trespass shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 3 months, or with fine which may extend to $1,500, or with both.
Punishment for house-trespass
  • 448. Whoever commits house-trespass shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine which may extend to $3,000, or with both.
House-trespass in order to commit an offence punishable with death
  • 449. Whoever commits house-trespass in order to commit any offence punishable with death, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years, and shall also be liable to fine.
House-trespass in order to commit an offence punishable with imprisonment for life
  • 450. Whoever commits house-trespass in order to commit any offence punishable with imprisonment for life, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years, and shall also be liable to fine. House-trespass in order to commit an offence punishable with imprisonment
  • 451. Whoever commits house-trespass in order to commit any offence punishable with imprisonment, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 2 years, and shall also be liable to fine; and if the offence intended to be committed is theft, the term of the imprisonment may be extended to 7 years.
House-trespass after preparation made for causing hurt, etc.
  • 452. Whoever commits house-trespass, having made preparation for causing hurt to any person, or for assaulting any person, or for wrongfully restraining any person, or for putting any person in fear of hurt or of assault, or of wrongful restraint, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 7 years, and shall also be liable to fine.
Punishment for lurking house-trespass or house-breaking
  • 453.  Whoever commits lurking house-trespass or house-breaking, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 2 years, and shall also be liable to fine.
Lurking house-trespass or house-breaking in order to commit an offence punishable with imprisonment
  • 454. Whoever commits lurking house-trespass or house-breaking in order to commit any offence punishable with imprisonment, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 3 years, and shall also be liable to fine; and if the offence intended to be committed is theft, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 10 years.
Lurking house-trespass or house-breaking after preparation made for causing hurt, etc.
  • 455. Whoever commits lurking house-trespass or house-breaking, having made preparation for causing hurt to any person, or for assaulting any person, or for wrongfully restraining any person, or for putting any person in fear of hurt or of assault or of wrongful restraint, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term of not less than 2 years and not more than 10 years and with caning.
Punishment for lurking house-trespass by night or house-breaking by night
  • 456. Whoever commits lurking house-trespass by night or house- breaking by night, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 3 years, and shall also be liable to fine.
Lurking house-trespass by night or house-breaking by night in order to commit an offence punishable with imprisonment
  • 457. Whoever commits lurking house-trespass by night or house- breaking by night, in order to commit any offence punishable with imprisonment, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 5 years, and shall also be liable to fine; and if the offence intended to be committed is theft, the term of the imprisonment shall be not less than 2 years and not more than 14 years.
Lurking house-trespass by night or house-breaking by night after preparation made for causing hurt, etc.
  • 458. Whoever commits lurking house-trespass by night or house- breaking by night, having made preparation for causing hurt to any person, or for assaulting any person, or for wrongfully restraining any person, or for putting any person in fear of hurt or of assault or of wrongful restraint, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term of not less than 2 years and not more than 14 years and with caning.
Punishment for subsequent offence under section 454 or 457
  • 458A. Whoever, having been convicted of an offence under section 454455457 or 458, commits an offence under section 454 or 457 shall be punished with caning in addition to the punishment prescribed for that offence.
Grievous hurt caused while committing lurking house-trespass or house-breaking
  • 459. Whoever, while committing lurking house-trespass or house- breaking, causes grievous hurt to any person, or attempts to cause death or grievous hurt to any person, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term of not less than 3 years and not more than 20 years and with caning.
Lurking house-trespass by night or house-breaking by night when death or grievous hurt is caused
  • 460. If, at the time of the committing of lurking house-trespass by night or house-breaking by night, any person guilty of such offence voluntarily causes or attempts to cause death or grievous hurt to any person, every person jointly concerned in committing such lurking house-trespass by night or house-breaking by night, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term of not less than 3 years and not more than 20 years.
Dishonestly breaking open any closed receptacle containing or supposed to contain property
  • 461. Whoever dishonestly, or with intent to commit mischief, breaks open or unfastens any closed receptacle which contains or which he believes to contain property, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 2 years, or with fine, or with both.
Punishment for same offence when committed by person entrusted with custody
  • 462. Whoever, being entrusted with any closed receptacle which contains or which he believes to contain property, without having authority to open the same, dishonestly, or with intent to commit mischief, breaks open or unfastens that receptacle, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 3 years, or with fine, or with both.

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