Over 70 and fighting crime

Over 70 and fighting crime
Retired nurse Nancy Low, 72, with (from right) Mr Ong Beng Siong and Mr Rawi Tuki, greeting shop owner Ong Song Huat while on patrol in Jurong West. She joins other volunteers who patrol the neighbourhood between two and three times a week to keep a lookout for crimes like bicycle thieves and unlicensed money lending. The feisty senior citizen says that her passion is to help protect others, particularly fellow senior citizens vulnerable to crime.

SINGAPORE - She's 72.

While one would expect a senior citizen to stay home watching television dramas or playing mahjong, Madam Nancy Low is resolutely breaking this stereotype.

The retired nurse is donning a yellow reflective vest, and patrolling the streets of Jurong West as one of the neighbourhood's new crime fighters.

Along with other volunteers, she will pit herself against bicycle thieves and unlicensed money lenders - the most common offenders in the neighbourhood, according to the police.

She's the oldest in a group of 20 volunteers who are part of the Citizens on Patrol Hotwheels initiative.

The volunteers plan to patrol between two and three times a week, from 7pm to 10pm on foot and from 11pm to 5am on bicycles.

A joint effort by the Jurong West Neighbourhood Police Centre and the area's grassroots committee, it was officially launched by Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam yesterday, who called it a "very important initiative" and praised the spirit of partnership between residents and the police.

This is the first time that the police are teaming up with volunteers to conduct bicycle patrols. Madam Low laughed off concerns that she may be too old for the job. She asked with aplomb: "I don't look like my age, do I?

"I want to bring peace and safety to my community. I also enjoy meeting other residents and keeping active helps to prevent me from getting dementia." Indeed, the spunky woman is doing this despite

her husband's objections: "My husband thinks that this is a waste of time and would rather I stay at home. But I explained to him that my passion is to help others, especially other senior citizens who are vulnerable to crime."

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