Growing up in Singapore, I have always been informed that we should always request for a proof of identity should any police officers approach us. As an early childhood educator, I have sat through educational talks by the police on their profession, and they have said the same thing to students in schools I have worked with and that is – police officers carry a card that identifies them as police officers, and to avoid being victims to impersonators, we should always ask to see the police identification cards. Thus, I was deeply troubled when I heard that two of the investigating officers who had searched Soh Lung’s residence, did not have their police identity cards with them. One of them, Inspector Diyana, had even claimed that she had left her badge “in the car” when she was questioned. The video can be viewed here.
Puzzled, I spent 2 evenings searching for information on whether plainclothes police officers are exempted from carrying their identification/ warrant cards or badges. I found an article dated September 27, 2010 in which the police spokesperson had said:
I have also found a recent article informing the public about the new features on the police warrant cards aiming to prevent identity fraud and impersonation, published on Channel News Asia’s website. The article ended with the following:
Most importantly, good ol’ Google led me to the Singapore Police Force’s Facebook page. On it, I found this old post dating back to June 15, 2011:
Well I am not sure whether police protocols regarding this issue has changed but from what I have found so far, anyone who claims to be part of the Singapore Police Force do have to present their warrant cards when requested by any members of the public. So why were the two officers allowed to conduct a search of Soh Lung’s residence without their warrant cards?
Perhaps SPF could enlighten us here on this matter rather than releasing a joint statement with the Elections Department (the informant of the case) over the alleged breaches of Cooling-Off Day regulations, which in my humble opinion, should not have been done in respect of the neutrality of SPF as an institution when investigating claims made by the informant, i.e., the ELD.
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