When he spotted a man taking an upskirt video of a woman on the escalator, he knew he had to bring the culprit to justice.
It did not matter to police sergeant Mohamad Noorhisham Mohd Yusof, 35, that he was off-duty when he witnessed the act.
For his act of vigilance, he was honoured with the Special Operations Command (SOC) Commander's Award last year, and the Commissioner of Police's Commendation earlier this year.
The officer, who has been with the force for eight years, said: "It's my responsibility to protect the people around me."
Sgt Noorhisham, who is from the police tactical unit under the SOC, was travelling from Choa Chu Kang to meet a friend at Commonwealth on July 12 last year, when the incident occurred.
While walking to the escalator leading to Choa Chu Kang MRT station's platform, he noticed that the man in front of him, who had his arms by his side, was holding a phone set on video mode.
He could not confirm that the man, 33, had lewd intentions at that point. "I thought he just forgot to lock his phone," he reasoned.
Sgt Noorhisham stood behind the man on the escalator and continued observing him. He noticed the man looking left and right.
"Then he suddenly propped his left leg up, onto the next step.
"He also placed his phone face down on his thigh, with the camera pointing up."
That's when the alarm bells went off in his head, said the married father of a four-year-old girl.
Things became clear when he noticed a woman in her 20s standing on the escalator in front of the man, one step up.
She was wearing a skirt that ended at mid-thigh, which confirmed his suspicions.
When they reached the train platform, the woman and the man headed in different directions.
Sgt Noorhisham promptly approached the woman and told her about his suspicions.
He also approached a female MRT staff member, and the trio made their way towards the suspect slowly.
While they were walking, a train pulled into the station.
Worried that the man would get away, Sgt Noorhisham ran towards him and introduced himself as a police officer. He also asked to see the man's phone.
After the man handed it over, Sgt Noorhisham unlocked the phone and found the upskirt video, which lasted less than a minute.
To distract him, Sgt Noorhisham kept talking to the man and asked him to explain his actions.
He kept quiet.
Then in a bid to sidestep the question, he replied that he was late for work.
Just then, a few public transport security command officers who were patrolling the platform approached the group.
Sgt Noorhisham explained the situation, and handed the man over to them.
The culprit was convicted for insulting the modesty of the woman on Oct 24 last year, and jailed for two weeks.
He could have been jailed up to a year, fined, or both.
Sgt Noorhisham said: "People are busy with their phones and not observing the things around them, but my training with the police has taught me to be alert and vigilant at all times."
This article was first published on Dec 2, 2014.
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