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Online social media posts alleging police officers bullied elderly woman are not true: SPF

Online social media posts alleging police officers bullied elderly woman are not true: SPF

The police said social media posts circulating online alleging police officers bullying an elderly woman who was not wearing a mask were not true. (Screengrabs: Instagram/Nicholas Zayden Tan)

SINGAPORE: Online social media posts alleging that police officers had bullied an elderly woman in Yishun are not true, said the Singapore Police Force (SPF) on Wednesday (May 19).

In a news release, SPF said it is aware of various posts circulating online alleging that police officers had bullied an elderly woman who was not wearing a mask. 

"The authorities are looking into the circulation of the falsehood," said SPF.

The incident happened on Monday at about 6.40 pm at Block 743 Yishun Avenue 5. 

Social media posts alleged that four officers had "clustered an elderly auntie that took off her mask because she was feeling breathless" and had continued to "tell her off" even though the elderly woman had put her mask on and that someone had to step in to "salvage the situation", said SPF.

"These allegations are not true," it added.

The police clarified that the officers responded to the incident as an 85-year-old woman, who did not have a mask on, appeared to be lost. 

The officers attended to the woman to help find her way home, said SPF, adding that the woman was believed to have dementia. 

With the help of a member of the public, it was later established that the woman resided in a nearby block, said the police.

"As the incident took place during dinner time, our officers were concerned that the elderly woman might be hungry and bought food for her as well," said SPF in the news release. 

No further police assistance was required after the woman was handed over to her domestic helper, said the police.

The authorities also commended two members of the public who had stepped forward to help the woman. A woman had offered a mask while another man came forward to give the elderly woman a few masks which she accepted. 

"We are heartened by the kind actions of those in the community who stepped forward to offer their assistance to make our community a safe and secure place to live in," said the police. 

SPF advised members of the public not to participate in spreading unverified information or "make their own conjectures on an incident". They also advised people to be responsible when posting or sharing any information online. 

Source: CNA/lk(ta)

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