Senior COPs keep estate safe

Senior COPs keep estate safe

They have a combined age of 138.

But they are in the forefront of the fight against crime.

Madam Tan Ee Kim, 64, and Mr Charlie Chan, 74, are members of Citizens On Patrol (COP) at Jalan Remaja, off Hillview Avenue.

Every Tuesday night, they meet other residents at a nearby playground before starting to patrol the neighbourhood on their bicycles, looking out for suspicious activities or people.

Each session lasts about one hour.

The initiative is designed to involve residents in crime prevention in their neighbourhood. (See report above.)

Madam Tan and Mr Chan, who are old friends, joined COP in 2004.

Said Madam Tan: "I joined the initiative because I saw them patrolling in their yellow vests.

"They looked really smart, so I decided to get involved."

Mr Chan joined the team because it served as a good platform to interact with fellow residents.

Currently, there are about 12 people in the group.

Said Mr Chan: "I can also help my neighbours to look out for any suspicious activity or person in the neighbourhood."

The pair of friends speak to residents to get a sense of what is happening "on the ground".

Madam Tan said: "The residents also like that we are on patrol, so they would sometimes wave to us when they see us on the streets."

The patrol group adheres to a set of guidelines to ensure their safety while on their rounds.

One of them is not to take matters into their own hands.

Mr Chan said: "If we see anything suspicious, we don't approach them. We inform the police by dialling a special phone number that connects us to a specific officer."

But despite the dimly-lit roads there, Mr Chan and Madam Tan have not spotted any crime in the area in the 10 years they have been patrolling.

"This place is very peaceful.

"So far, we have not made any reports about any suspicious people or threats in the area," said Mr Chan.

The pair hope more people will participate in patrolling their neighbourhood.

"Hopefully, more young people will join us," Madam Tan said.

EYES AND EARS FOR THE POLICE

Citizens On Patrol is an initiative of the Singapore Police Force, where residents patrol their estates to prevent crime.

They alert the police when they see any suspicious activities or anyone loitering in the neighbourhood.

All residents are welcome to join.

Those keen to do so can call or e-mail their Neighbourhood Police Centre .

They can also talk to the Community Policing Unit officers when these officers visit their homes or organise talks and road shows.


This article was first published on November 18, 2014.
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