Bank executive Natalie Huang was at Raffles Place one lunch hour in November last year when she felt a man brush past her - before turning around to witness him stab another man in the waist.
Although initially shocked, her instincts soon kicked in as she immediately acted to preserve the crime scene before police arrived.
"People were walking over the splattered blood and the knife," said the 32-year-old. "I was telling them to stay away because this is a crime scene. You really don't know what clues police would find."
For her quick-thinking, Ms Huang was awarded the Public Spiritedness Award yesterday morning at the Home Team National Day Observance Ceremony.
The award was presented to 69 members of the public for assisting the Home Team in ensuring Singapore's safety and security. "You have to protect the integrity of the place so that whoever gets caught will get the right justice," added Ms Huang.
CRIME SCENE PRESERVATION
People were walking over the splattered blood and the knife. I was telling them to stay away because this is a crime scene. You really don't know what clues police would find.
MS NATALIE HUANG, a bank executive who acted quickly to preserve a crime scene at Raffles Place before police arrived
Police investigations revealed the 38-year-old victim had been robbed of about $800,000 in cash. The alleged robber was charged in November last year with armed robbery and will return to court for a committal hearing in October.
Twelve Home Team volunteers and 104 Home Team officers also received the National Day Award for their contributions.
The awards were presented by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean at the Ministry of Home Affairs Headquarters.
In his opening speech, Mr Teo, who is also Minister for Home Affairs and Coordinating Minister for National Security, thanked the Home Team for its professional excellence and dedication. He said: "The Home Team must not only be well prepared to tackle the challenges of today but also plan ahead to be ready for the future."
DPM Teo added that security threats, such as transnational crime, cyber-related crime and terrorism, are different from those that Singapore faced in its early days.
These are challenges that resonate with staff sergeant Darvina Halini Deniyal, 28, who was also recognised yesterday for her initiative and innovation in tackling online vice activities. Ms Darvina, who is with the Criminal Investigation Department, was successful in dismantling five online syndicates last year.
With rising education levels and the spread of new media, offenders now operate in a more sophisticated manner. She said: "On social media, you can't really trace these syndicates easily, so you always have to be one step ahead and find ways to detect them."