Cop standee at AMK block helps deter thieves
Resident's idea of placing 'Yan Dao' cop standee near staircase of AMK block helps deter thieves
She used to leave footwear in the common corridor outside her three-room flat, but someone would nick them. She lost three pairs of branded shoes over the past five years.
Madam Nur Hidayah and her neighbours on the third storey of Block 449, Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10, suffered in silence as even clothes hung outside to dry were not spared.
Putting up their own closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras was too expensive.
But over the past year, thanks to an ingenious neighbour, it has become safer to leave footwear and clothes outside the house.
When plumber Sim Ngiap Phua, 72, who lives two doors away from Madam Hidayah, saw a cardboard standee of a policeman behind some fruit cartons near his block a year ago, an idea came to him - to take it home and position it facing the staircase.
He said he was told he could take it as the fruit shop did not know who it belonged to.
The standee he had picked up was the ubiquitous anti-shop theft "Yan Dao" (handsome in Hokkien) cop standee.
Surprisingly, it managed to deter the thieves from returning.
A 40-year-old polytechnic lecturer, who wanted to be known only as Mrs Lee, said: "It's a good place for the standee to be because it's facing the lift. So it acts as a warning to thieves."
Mr Sim noted: "There was a big improvement after the standee was placed there.''
POLICE AND THIEVES: (Above) The cardboard standee of a policeman placed near the third-storey staircase of an Ang Mo Kio block, helped deter thieves. PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO
Said Madam Hidayah: "After the policeman (standee) was placed there, they've stopped taking the shoes. I purposely put branded shoes outside to see if they will be stolen. It's been a year since."
But on Monday, the police removed the standee from the corridor.
A police spokesman said these cardboard standees are allocated to shops to prevent shoplifting.
The shop it had been allocated to had placed it near the cartons. This led to Mr Sim mistakenly thinking it had been discarded.
So what do the residents think, now that their cardboard policeman is gone?
Mr Sim did not think that the thieves would strike again, but wished for an additional form of safety measure. Most flats in Singapore are equipped with CCTVs on the first staircase landings and inside lifts.
Said Mr Sim: "It would be safer if CCTVs could be installed to guard the corridors as well."
It's a good place for the standee to be, because it's facing the lift. So it acts as a warning for thieves.
- A resident, who wanted to be known only as Mrs Lee
Viral meme cop gets married
The life-size policeman standee was unveiled in November 2013 by the National Crime Prevention Council as part of the Festive Season Crime Prevention Campaign's efforts to prevent shop thefts.
As reported by The New Paper in February last year, there are over 800 standees at storefronts across Singapore, turning the featured police officer, Assistant Superintendent (ASP) Ryan Koh, 34, into a viral meme.
Netizens have even given him the nickname "Yan Dao" (handsome in Hokkien) cop.
ASP Koh was also featured in an anti-crime campaign video by the Singapore Police Force in February 2015.
Despite the fact that the standees can be found in many shops across the island, many people do not recognise him in public.
He told The New Paper last year: "Maybe it's because I don't wear the peaked hat and put on that (stern) expression all the time."
ASP Koh tied the knot with a colleague earlier this month. Their wedding photos have more than 2,500 likes and 1,500 shares on Facebook.
MIRROR IMAGE: ASP Ryan Koh, the cardboard cop.PHOTO: TNP FILE