By: Phillip Ang
One of SPF’s silly ideas – station thousands of cardboard police officers all over the island as if they were real police officers. If this had worked, our crime rate would have been falling.
The fact is, the number of police officers has not kept pace with the increase in population and the SPF is understaffed. Should a riot occur at, say, potential powder-keg Geylang, all hell will break loose.
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As for Mr Cardboard, he is not only ineffective and useless; his message “Shop theft is a CRIME” is an insult to Singaporeans. Who doesn’t know stealing is a crime?
Worse, the target audience excludes non-English speakers, ie not targeted at PRCs and most foreigners. Do Singaporeans pay taxes to be insulted by civil servants?
This silly idea has of course not worked and is simply a waste of tax dollars.
Another silly idea is the use of “Crime Alert” notices strategically positioned at places with high human traffic. Exactly what is the objective remains a mystery. If SPF was trying to impress its crime fighting capabilities upon the world, then it can’t be very smart. A few examples below.
In August 2014, the public was alerted to 11 shop thefts committed at Cold Storage Tampines One (below).
Thursday, 7 August, 2014, 2:01:04 PM
Four months later in December, the number of shop thefts increased to 21.
Monday, 8 December, 2014, 5:10:02 PM
By August 2015, the number had risen to 32, an average of about 3 cases every 2 months.
Sunday, 23 August, 2015, 3:35:57 PM
Was the Crime Alert notice effective? It appears Mr Cardboard was also not doing his job.
The above situation has been replicated elsewhere and the outcome was to be expected because nothing good comes out of a silly idea.
The highest number of shop thefts in eastern Singapore appears to have been committed at Giant Tampines. Areas which are likely to fare worse are probably found in western Singapore but I have no inside information whether that is true or not.
At Giant Tampines, 48 shop theftswere committed within short span 6 months in 2015.
Friday, 4 September, 2015, 9:55:06 AM
By April 2016, only 8 months later, the figure had shot up to 136.
Tuesday, 19 April, 2016, 9:09:48 AM
Within less than 1 month, 18 more shop thefts were committed.
Tuesday, 10 May, 2016, 4:13:03 PM
At the rate of 9 shop theft cases per month, isn’t the SPF alarmed? So how does the SPF intend to nip this problem? Station a battalion of cardboard policemen at all locations with a high crime rate?
Whatever it is, this silly SPF idea appears to have backfired. In trying to impress a positive image of police officers upon the public, the SPF has inadvertently disclosed to the world our embarrassing crime statistics. This goes to show just how book smart our scholars are.
Unless there are statistics to support these silly SPF ideas, I would suggest Mr Cardboard and notices be sent to the complex NAC bin centre which may have incineration facilities.
And I don’t mean solving one case but leaving 99 unsolved.
Time for SPF to discard this approach and stop embarrassing itself further.