Riot in Little India: Spotlight on SPF

I’ve touched on the subject of the disappearance of SPF from public places in several posts. Many others have also expressed disappointment over this.

Once again, the spotlight falls on SPF prompted by the rioting in Little India just as it did over the police officer who murdered two persons in Kovan.

With thousands of foreign workers descending on Little India particularly at weekends, the potential for an incident like an argument, quarrel, fight or accident to spiral out of control is great. As a professional organisation, it’s deeply disappointing that SPF failed to realise this.

As a frequent visitor to Little India, I’ve noticed the lack of a police presence there. The occasional police presence is represented by the Auxiliary Police, either Cisco or Aetos.

Greater police patrols could have responded faster to the road accident that sparked the rioting, helped calm down emotions and thus prevented it from getting out of control.

Crowds numbering in their thousands, overcrowding, drinking and strength in numbers in cliques are a recipe for an explosive situation in Little India. The same could be said of Geylang, the red light district.

Regular police patrols instill in people the perception that police is just around the corner, and this helps to deter and prevent crime or the ability to respond much faster to a crime situation.

While SPF prefers to fight crime from behind their desks and remains invisible in public places, another uniform, that of LTA Enforcement, is highly visible and omnipresent as its “officers” zip around on their bikes to every nooks and corners, even late at night, in their relentless hunt for illegal parking. Many have noted the irony.

One only wishes if SPF could be equally visible and omnipresent.

Perhaps it has secret weapons we are not aware of like super secret surveillance cameras, plainclothes officers on the ground, satellite surveillance and so on. This could account for its unflappable attitude while the rest of us get overly excited.

I had asked before what would rouse SPF to be true to its mission to fight crime seriously. Maybe the Commission of Inquiry into the rioting could be the catalyst to effect a change of heart in SPF.

But don’t place too much hope on that.

Whatever the outcome of the COI, it’s reasonable to assert that a police force can’t fight crime from behind a desk say what you like.

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