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Police took 'too long' to activate anti-riot squad

Published on Mar 26, 2014 8:11 AM

It took too long for the police to activate their anti-riot squad when the Little India disorder broke out, police chief Ng Joo Hee admitted yesterday.

Addressing the Committee of Inquiry (COI) into the riot, the Police Commissioner said the 18 minutes that it took to give the Special Operations Command (SOC) the green light to respond to Dec 8's mayhem was "unacceptably long".

He also highlighted a second key failing on the night. Police officers could not talk to one another due to jammed airwaves that made walkie-talkies ineffective, while their phones were affected by a lack of mobile signals.

Communications were "totally screwed up", explained Mr Ng, saying they were "non-existent".

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