Criminal Justice Club Partners NPCC to Train Cadets

In the past year, the Criminal Justice Club (CJC), through its sub-club the Military Justice Project, has been working closely with the Ministry of Education to develop a course for National Police Cadet Corps (NPCC) cadets on criminal law. The impetus for this project stemmed from prior feedback gained from NPCC cadets regarding their existing Police Knowledge 2 course.

NPCC approached CJC to develop an improved criminal law curriculum that will: (1) impart a greater depth of knowledge to the cadets, (2) ensure that the curriculum continues to accurately describe the law, and (3) teach content that is relevant to secondary school students. This project has been recognised by the Law Society as pro bono work and by the Singapore Police Force as a collaborative effort to promote police knowledge to the general public.

Over the course of a week in July 2016, the CJC presented the fruits of their labour to NPCC cadets from different areas in Singapore; these cadets gathered at designated schools (Orchid Park Secondary School, Pei Hwa Secondary School, Bendemeer Secondary School, and Kent Ridge Secondary School) according to their school zones.

In teaching this new syllabus, the CJC focused on three different types of crimes: crimes against property, crimes against the person, and group crimes. As such, cadets were taught to identify the elements of offences such as theft, intentional bullying, and criminal conspiracy. Throughout the entire presentation, the cadets were also drilled on the key thing to note for most criminal offences: that these offences bear the elements of actus reus and mens rea.

The CJC took particular care to ensure that the course remained engaging and interactive. Crimes were taught with the assistance of a hypothetical scenario, coupled with pictures and illustrations. Worded simply yet full of details, the hypothetical scenario enthused cadets and challenged them to find crimes embedded in seemingly innocuous actions – such as keeping a lost guitar that bears its owner’s contact details, or merely planning to commit a crime without actually taking part in it. At the end of the presentation, cadets also were invited to do a skit showcasing one of three crimes: instigation, aid and criminal conspiracy. The cadets participated most eagerly in this last segment, and there was lots of fun to be had watching their performances.

All in all, the pilot run of this NPCC criminal law course has been a success. Minor refinements were done with every presentation each day, culminating in what is now an almost ready-to-package product for the future batches of NPCC cadets. The CJC has thoroughly enjoyed teaching these cadets and are satisfied to know that they were able to gain useful and practical knowledge that aids them in both their CCA and their everyday lives.