Sunday, February 12, 2006

The recent report on the policeman being charged for assault of an accused person really got my attention. Being a fellow law enforcer, I found that I could be in a similar predicament as him. For those who haven't read it, let me give you a brief summary: The policeman is in charge of the holding cells in the subordinate courts and when this particular accuse came in to the cell, he was warned by the policeman to remove all cigarettes and lighters from his possession. He was also warned not to smoke in the cell. However, the accuse fail to heed the warning and brought cigarettes and a lighter into the cell and started smoking. Upon discovery, the policeman physically assaulted the accuse for disobeying orders. Now, the policeman is in court for unauthorized assault of an accuse.

I totally sympathize with him. As a policeman his job is indeed tough and I am sure the accuse had played a vital role in creating this furore as well. I have been to the holding cells at the subordinate courts before and trust me, the people there are crazy. The accuse persons are from all walks of life and most of them are repeat offenders who are out to create trouble for the police officers. The subordinate court cell is a place for offenders to be kept temporarily before they are led up to the various courts for their hearing.

Imagine, you are a police officer and there are probably a hundred offenders waiting for their turn to have their hearing and you have to process every single one of them, warn them of illegal possession, handcuff them and lead them up to the courts. The amount of work is humongous and the last thing that you want would be some offender to 'ge siao'(create trouble deliberately). I have to admit that I perform similar task to this policeman as well, albeit in a smaller scale, I have to warn military offenders of the consequences of bringing in cigarettes and lighters into our cells. Most are cooperative but some are just out to make your job tough.

So it does not surprise me that the policeman lost his cool and started assaulting the accuse. There the policeman is busy trying to get everyone sorted out for the hearing and over in the cell, the accuse is blatantly disobeying direct orders and smoking. Where does he think he is? In a coffeeshop?

Policemen are not superman and they cannot attend to everything in the same cool manner. In extremely busy circumstances, sometimes we just wish that everyone in the cell cooperates and stop creating trouble. What is so hard about listening to a simple order? No smoking means no smoking! If you want to have the liberty to smoke then don't commit a crime! Some offenders just cannot understand simple english and they always attempt to push their luck.

Take this one case in which I was tasked to do. I had just arrested a deserter, handcuff him and threw him at the back of the car. As I was seating next to him, he begged me to cuff him infront as he felt very uncomfortable being cuff at the back. Being a kind soul, I loosen his cuff so his hands need not be amputated for the lack of blood flowing to it. Promptly, the accuse went on to 'ge siao' and played punk with me. He took out his phone, switch it on and attempted to sms. He was lucky that I was an ord personnel, if not in my heyday, I would have slapped him twice and broke his hand. (Haha just kidding.)

Hence, you can see it is not that police officers have no sense, it is offenders that have no brains. There is only a certain limit to one's tolerance level and when there is alot of work to do, one's tolerance level is lower. You tell them nicely one time, two times they would refuse to listen. They would wind you up with their antics. Often most of them have really 'kiam pa' face as well(sorry dunno how to translate) and you just cannot resist bashing them up.

I believe all law enforcers should get behind this policeman and sign a petition regarding his acquittal. The petition should include the complexities of our job, psychological analysis of our mental state after dealing with a hundred offenders and statistical evidence of offenders who like to 'ge siao'. After that, I believe the judge should lock the offender up for as long as possible with his hands cuffed at his back, tightly.

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