Assess circumstances in use of handcuffs

In the report on elderly people "shoplifting" as a consequence of dementia ("Elderly people caught 'shoplifting'? They may have dementia"; Jan 25), it was revealed that an elderly man was handcuffed when he was initially suspected of shoplifting.

Is it mandatory for a detainee to be handcuffed? Hopefully, it is not a practice for all detainees to be handcuffed.

The police must assess the circumstances before employing such a forceful measure to effect an arrest.

An elderly person is likely to be frail and unlikely to be able to inflict harm on anyone. Thus, if he is to be detained, and the police officers are able to control him, then, perhaps, handcuffs are not necessary.

Donny Ho Boon Tiong