Little India riot: Were police well prepared?

Little India riot: Were police well prepared?

SINGAPORE- While I admire the restraint shown by our police officers during the Little India riot on Sunday ("'Conscious decision not to use deadly force'"; yesterday), I cannot help but wonder whether some of our police officers are equipped to deal with this kind of scenario.

During the 1960s and 1970s, almost all divisional police officers were trained in riot control tactics.

Many questions on the handling of Sunday's riot remain unanswered and must be cleared up.

Fights are common in Little India, especially on weekends and public holidays, and during festivals.

Singaporeans and some expatriates have told me they avoid going to Mustafa Centre on weekends because of the rowdy crowd that gathers around the area, with some people behaving in a drunken manner.

Perhaps a Special Operations Command team could be on standby there during weekends to deter any outbreak of violence.

Banning the sale of alcohol on weekends is a step in the right direction.

The rioters must face the full brunt of the law, to prevent such incidents from happening again.

Foreign workers must be made to realise that they are in another country and cannot conduct themselves as they would in their own country.

Being a former policeman, I am sad to see police vehicles and ambulances being damaged. But I am glad that the police showed admirable restraint and I am very proud of them.

Cyril Sta Maria

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