Abusive behaviour

Look into videos of people belittling public servants

It is not difficult to find videos on social media of people who have done something illegal challenging a public servant to take action.

One common example is a driver who has committed a parking offence.

Having been issued a summons, the offender would record a video of the traffic warden while using harsh words to demean him, with the intention of embarrassing him.

Footage of this sort is widely circulated. Using abusive words against a public servant is an attempt to intimidate him, and hurts his dignity.

Most of the time, the public servant conducts himself professionally while interacting with the offender.

As the offender is the one filming, he is able to stay anonymous.

To deter such actions, the authorities should publicise the identities of those who post such videos online, to show the public that such acts of belittling a public servant and challenging his authority are serious offences.

The offenders need to know that they are breaking the rules and that enforcement officers are just doing their duty to curb such offences.

Take steps to protect public servants from physical and verbal abuse.

Donny Ho Boon Tiong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 23, 2021, with the headline 'Look into videos of people belittling public servants'. Subscribe