Police respond according to threat

We thank Mr Lionel De Souza for his feedback in his letter (Act more decisively against armed suspects; Jan 8).

When effecting an arrest, police officers assess and decide on the most appropriate kind of force to use based on the circumstances.

All police officers are trained in methods ranging from unarmed tactics to the use of Tasers and firearms.

There are strict safety guidelines on the use of the latter two and they are employed when police assess the threat to the public or themselves to be imminent.

In the Boon Lay incident Mr De Souza referred to, the subject had threatened to harm himself with a bread knife.

On arriving at the scene, police officers engaged him verbally to get him to put down his knife.

When he refused, the police officers moved in and disarmed him to prevent hurting himself or others. He was then placed under arrest.

The incident was resolved within 11 minutes after the call for assistance was received and nine minutes on the officers' arrival at the scene, and no one was injured.

The police officers acted decisively and appropriately in this incident.

In 43 other incidents over the last three years, the police were required to use Tasers to restrain the violent or weapons-wielding subjects.

The police will not hesitate to take forceful action against those who threaten the safety and security of the public, including through the use of Tasers and firearms, when the circumstances so require.

Simon Ng (Superintendent)

Assistant Director (Public Communications Division)

Public Affairs Department

Singapore Police Force