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Allegations that police manhandled woman during incident at Ang Mo Kio Hub untrue: SPF

SINGAPORE: Allegations in an online post that the police had manhandled a woman while responding to an incident at Ang Mo Kio Hub are "categorically untrue", the Singapore Police Force (SPF) said on Thursday (Dec 23). 

In a video of the incident, shared by Instagram account on Wednesday, four police officers are seen around a woman, who can be heard screaming "help me", at the Ang Mo Kio bus interchange.

The caption to the video said that the woman's face mask had torn and that she had "asked for help as she was flustered and confused when the police surrounded her and kept badgering her". 

It added that as the woman tried to leave to go home and get a new mask, several officers "manhandled her to the ground". 


In its statement, the SPF said that on Wednesday morning, police officers had responded to an incident in which a woman, 55, had repeatedly refused to put on a mask in a public place. 

"Upon arrival, the officers were informed that the woman had allegedly refused to wear a mask when she was in the supermarket. Despite repeated reminders by the supermarket staff, the woman continued to refuse to wear a mask and was purportedly shouting in the supermarket," the police said in a statement. 

The officers later spotted the woman at the Ang Mo Kio bus interchange and asked her to wear a mask.

She refused to comply and spoke to the officers in a "hostile manner", despite their "continued and repeated" advice for her to wear a mask, the SPF said, noting the woman had also refused a mask that the officers offered her.

"The woman then started shouting loudly, and attempted to walk away," the police said. 

The officers engaged with the woman for more than 15 minutes before arresting her as her conduct posed a risk to herself and to public health, the SPF added. 

The police noted that during the arrest, the officers "supported the woman to the ground" as she was resisting arrest and "appeared to want to sit down", adding that she was later referred to the Institute of Mental Health for assessment.

"Mask-wearing in public places is important to mitigate the spread of infection to others, especially with the Omicron variant spreading rapidly all around the world," the police said, urging members of the public to adhere to prevailing safe management measures. 

The SPF also encouraged members of the public to be responsible when posting or sharing any information online, and not spread unverified information or misrepresentations of any incident. 

"The Police take a serious view of such malicious and false allegations, and the authorities are looking into the circulation of the falsehood," it added. 

Source: CNA/az(ac)


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