Singapore

SPF rebuts criticism of community policing

The Singapore Police Force (SPF) said in a Facebook post yesterday that comments made by Mr Yeoh Lam Keong - in which he raised doubts about community policing in Singapore - were "sweeping" and "inaccurate".

Mr Yeoh, a senior economist and strategist at the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation for 26 years, had posted on Facebook on June 5 that policy decisions had resulted in inadequate community policing in Singapore.

He said this in a post on an article he shared about how falling police numbers have made the recent terror attacks in London and Manchester much more likely.

Mr Yeoh added that "alienation from the police was a big reason for the cause and poor handling of the riots in Little India. Alcohol is just a convenient scapegoat".

In response, the SPF said that Mr Yeoh's post showed "a clear lack of understanding" of what happened during the Little India riot in Singapore in 2013. The SPF highlighted how a fatal traffic accident had been established as the main cause of the riot by a Committee of Inquiry convened to look into what happened.

Alcohol was also found to be a "major contributory factor" in the riot - contrary to what Mr Yeoh had deemed a "convenient scapegoat".

The SPF also said that community-based policing has always been a key strategy in its efforts to keep Singapore safe and secure.

The Community Policing System was launched in May 2012 to bring police officers closer to the community and strengthen presence on the ground. It remains an integral part of policing strategy.

The Government also launched the SGSecure movement last September as a community response to the increasing security threats facing nations worldwide.

Various initiatives have been rolled out to engage the public, such as using the SGSecure app to report suspicious activity and training and equipping people with life-saving skills.

The SPF added: "It is regrettable that Mr Yeoh did not check his facts before commenting on areas he has little knowledge of. His distorted points on the Little India Riot and Community Policing will mislead others". - THE STRAITS TIMES

Singapore Police ForceRiotingalcohol