Volunteer who helped troubled teens get back on track set to join new Community Watch Scheme

Mr Pragash Kulasagar, team leader of a Citizens on Patrol (COP) group with Ang Mo Kio South Neighbourhood Police Centre, in his COP vest. PHOTO: COURTESY OF MR PRAGASH

SINGAPORE - As a team leader of a Citizens on Patrol (COP) group, he was on duty at Teck Ghee estate, along with two other members, when a resident told them that a group of teenagers was behaving suspiciously at a rooftop carpark.

Mr Pragash Kulasagar and his team hurried to the scene and saw that the carpark walls had been vandalised, while potted plants, water hoses and a fire hose reel had been damaged.

The technician contacted the Ang Mo Kio Police Division to report the incident. Two weeks later, the police informed him that the perpetrators had been identified and warned, and their parents had been informed.

Mr Pragash, who later helped the teenagers by getting a youth initiative and the residents' committee in the area to engage them, said: "I'm glad that our hard work paid off. I believe the youths are on the correct path."

Mr Pragash, who has been married for 20 years and has two children, has been a volunteer under the Singapore Police Force's (SPF) Neighbourhood Watch Zone scheme for more than 10 years and was appointed COP team leader in 2009.

He is keen to join two groups - Neighbours on Watch and Workers on Watch - under the new Community Watch Scheme (CWS), which was launched by the SPF on Saturday (Dec 11).

He said: "As I am on the ground, I can inform the police immediately when I notice anything suspicious. I also want to continue to maintain the safety and security of my neighbourhood and workplace."

He hopes more will join CWS, and be the eyes and ears of the police on the ground.

As part of the neighbourhood watch at Teck Ghee, he has also helped to stop a gang fight, as well as come to the aid of an elderly lady during a loan shark harassment incident.

His good work was acknowledged on Oct 28, when he received the Outstanding Volunteer Award at the Home Team Volunteer Network anniversary celebration.

Mr Pragash thanked his COP team members and his family for their support.

"My family knows this is good for everybody. By volunteering, I am helping to safeguard my neighbourhood," he said.

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