All have a part to play in fighting crime

All have a part to play in fighting crime
The fully automated and driverless trains will be the first in Singapore with five doors on each side of each car to allow smoother passenger boarding and alighting.

SINGAPORE - While I applaud Mr Daniel Zhang (" 'Pass the buck' mentality emboldens criminals"; Tuesday) for reporting a man taking upskirt videos at Ang Mo Kio MRT station, it is somewhat ironic that it was he who "passed the buck" in the first place.

If the service ambassador at the train station was unable to help, perhaps he could have asked the other commuters for assistance.

I am sure others would be willing to help. After all, which man would want his mother, wife, girlfriend or sister to be the victim of a pervert, and let the perpetrator get away?

This situation is akin to that of a person seeing a snatch thief running away, with no policeman in sight. Would he let the thief escape, or would he seek help from others to apprehend him? Would any civic-minded person say he is not a policeman, so he should not give chase?

All of us have a part to play in fighting crime.

The service ambassador should not have followed the standard operating procedure so rigidly that it impeded his judgment.

If there is a terrorist suspect at a train station, are service ambassadors unable to do anything, since they do not have the power to detain people?

Can SMRT and SBS Transit explain their protocols for staff at train stations and bus interchanges, when it comes to criminal or terrorist acts?

And before questioning what others can do, we also need to ask ourselves: "What can I do?"

This article was first published on May 22, 2014.
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