Act more decisively against armed suspects

A video of the incident circulating on social media shows the man facing off with at least three police officers.
A video of the incident circulating on social media shows the man facing off with at least three police officers.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM FACEBOOK/ATIQAH SHAH

Cases of suspects brandishing dangerous weapons in the face of police officers while the officers stand by and watch appear to be on the rise (Blade-wielding man arrested after stand-off with police; Jan 3).

This should never be the case, as the fundamental duties of a police officer are to save lives and protect property.

Based on my experience as a retired police officer who served in the Singapore Police Force for 27 years, the officers should not have treated the 52-year-old suspect, armed with a bladed weapon, with kid gloves.

The most senior officer at the scene should have warned the suspect that if he did not lay down his weapon, force would be used, which could extend to the use of firearms.

Since the suspect was armed with an offensive weapon, which refers to any instrument which if used as a weapon of offence is likely to cause hurt, the police officers would have been justified in exercising their right of private defence.

From my experience, any hesitation on the part of police officers will give the suspect the impression that the police are indecisive, and potentially embolden him.

Lionel De Souza