Police do not have a bomb disposal unit

THE police have responded to comments about public perception that they do not manage war relics found on private property.

This response came about after The Straits Times reported that a site manager was unable to get authorities to help remove a war relic from his premesis after calling the police.

Director of Operations, Assistant Commissioner of Police Lim Kok Thai issued the following statement:

"There has been a number of postings and media articles giving the impression that the Police do not manage war relics when it is found in private property. I would like to dispel this notion. Police make no distinction between private and public property. The fundamental issue is one of public safety.

"Let me elaborate. The Police are responsible for ensuring public safety wherever the threat may be found. When a suspected bomb is found, whether on public or private property, the Police should be informed immediately.


"In this particular case, the Police responded to the call, secured the site, and contacted the CBRE (SAF's Chemical Biological Radiological and Explosives Defence Group) for expert assistance.

"The Police does not have a bomb disposal capability and relies on CBRE. When their expert assessment was that the relic did not pose an imminent threat to public safety and can be removed by specialist contractors, the Police conveyed this to the landlord.

"And when the landlord had difficulty securing the services of a contractor, the Police again approached CBRE for help and they sent a team to the scene and removed the relic.

"I would like to share that this reliance on specialist contractors who are qualified and licensed for such disposal of relics, is a well-established practice. This has been the arrangement for relics found and assessed to be safe for removal, for instance, in construction sites in the course of soil work, excavation or dredging. In the last 6 months, there were over 20 cases where relics were handled in this manner.

"Whatever the arrangement, the Police will remain in charge of the scene to ensure that disposal is effected in a proper manner and that public safety is not, in any way or at any time, compromised."