Briton lauded for catching upskirt suspect

Assistant Commissioner of Police Koh Wei Keong, at the Public Transport Security Command, presenting the Public Spiritedness Award to Mr Keith Goldfinch, who was being honoured for helping the police to nab an upskirt video suspect in Newton MRT stat
Assistant Commissioner of Police Koh Wei Keong, at the Public Transport Security Command, presenting the Public Spiritedness Award to Mr Keith Goldfinch, who was being honoured for helping the police to nab an upskirt video suspect in Newton MRT station on June 19.PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

He was hoping to spring a surprise on his son, but ended up getting an even bigger surprise himself.

Mr Keith Goldfinch, a British engineer at Rolls-Royce, had just returned to Singapore from France on June 19, and decided to make an unannounced trip to pick up his four-year-old son William from nursery.

"I was feeling jet-lagged… (and) in a daze," he recalled.

The 42-year-old travelled to Newton MRT station and just as he stepped onto a downward-travelling escalator, he was jolted by shouts for help to stop someone, which were coming from two girls on the adjacent escalator heading upwards.

Mr Goldfinch then saw a man rushing down the escalator in his direction.

When he grabbed the man, the latter denied any wrongdoing and struggled to get away.

ACT OF BRAVERY

It's an instinctive, human thing to do. If I hadn't done anything, I would have felt awful.

'' MR KEITH GOLDFINCH, who was awarded the Public Spiritedness Award.

"I was worried that we would fall down the escalator and get hurt," said Mr Goldfinch, who suffered a minor graze on his leg during the tussle.

Another commuter eventually assisted him in restraining the man.

The 53-year-old suspect was arrested and is currently under investigation for allegedly filming upskirt videos of a female commuter.

Mr Goldfinch was awarded the Public Spiritedness Award by the Singapore Police Force on Monday.

Police figures showed that last year, there were 447 reported cases of insulting the modesty of a woman compared with 531 in 2016.

The crime also includes acts like taking bathroom videos, indecent exposure and verbally insulting the modesty of a woman.

Commander of Public Transport Security Command, Assistant Commissioner of Police Koh Wei Keong, said that there currently does not seem to be an increasing trend in terms of the number of upskirt video cases. However, he added: "I think for the victims, every case is one too many."

He urged women to be more careful when travelling on escalators, a hot spot for reported incidents.

As for Mr Goldfinch, he has downplayed his good deed.

"I don't feel like I've done anything particularly special. I've done what anyone else would do. It's an instinctive, human thing to do. If I hadn't done anything, I would have felt awful," he said.

But his wife Rachael Halliday, a 43-year-old associate director at KPMG, and his son William think otherwise.

Ms Halliday said the Father's Day card they prepared for him best expressed their feelings.

On it was the message: "You are a hero, daddy."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 27, 2018, with the headline 'Briton lauded for catching upskirt suspect'. Print Edition | Subscribe