SINGAPORE, Sept 22 — The police are investigating two teenage boys for allegedly damaging government property as part of a social media challenge encouraging students to vandalise or steal school property and post their misdeeds on social media.
The “Devious Licks” challenge, which originated on social media platform TikTok in early September, is a viral trend where teenagers post video clips of themselves vandalising, damaging or showing off stolen property taken from schools, mostly from public bathrooms there.
Videos of students smashing up bathroom mirrors and sinks, stealing soap dispensers and turf from sports fields at rival schools have been posted to the video-sharing platform.
In a statement on Tuesday (Sept 21), the police said they were informed of two incidents in Singapore that are believed to be related to the social media challenge.
These incidents were reported to the police and the teenagers involved have been identified, they said.
In one incident involving a 15-year-old boy, the police received a report showing a picture of the youth holding onto a Kaki Bukit MRT station signage belonging to the Land Transport Authority.
The sign was originally mounted onto the frame of a sheltered walkway leading to Kaki Bukit MRT station.
The picture was posted on various social media platforms, said the police.
Through follow-up investigations and footage from police cameras, law enforcement was able to establish the identity of the boy and recover the sign from his home.
In the second incident, the police received a report showing a video of a 14-year-old boy holding onto a sign belonging to the National Environment Agency.
The video had been posted to TikTok, said the police, who added that the youth had allegedly removed the sign which was originally affixed into the ground along Jalan Songket.
The boy had returned the sign to its original position after filming the social media video, said the police.
Both of the incidents took place on Sunday evening a few hours apart.
Police investigations into both incidents are ongoing.
Any acts which involve the removal of government property without written authority of an authorised officer or representative from the Government constitute offences of vandalism punishable under Section 3 of the Vandalism Act, said the police.
Those found guilty could be jailed for up to three years, fined up to S$2,000, and receive between three and eight strokes of the cane.
“Members of the public are reminded to abide by our laws, and not to participate in acts or viral online trends that constitute a criminal offence,” said the police.
“Those who break the law will be dealt with firmly.”
TikTok has said that it has taken steps to shut down the trend by removing content from its platforms. — TODAY