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Police apologise after officer responds 'inappropriately' to onlookers near scene of death

Police apologise after officer responds 'inappropriately' to onlookers near scene of death

A Singapore Police Force (SPF) officer makes "V" gestures with his hands as he stands next to a blue tent in a photo posted on Facebook on Jun 28, 2022. (Photo: Facebook/Tracy Lim)

SINGAPORE: The Singapore Police Force (SPF) has apologised after a photo emerged showing one of its officers posing “inappropriately” at the scene of a person’s death.

In the photo posted on Facebook on Tuesday (Jun 28) by user Tracy Lim, an SPF officer is seen with his hands raised in “V” gestures. Part of a blue tent can be seen next to the officer.

Such tents are used by police to cover bodies.

In her post, Ms Lim criticised the officer for “posing like the body beside was nothing but a background or an accessory to a photo”. She noted that the person who had died was her aunt.

“Instead of showing basic respect, this police officer decided it was funny and treated the situation as if it was a happy matter, like he just won a trophy, a game or a prize,” she said.

“Is there no integrity on how a police officer should behave, especially when he is on duty, attending to a case involving (a) casualty?” she asked.

“This is utterly unacceptable and disrespectful to my family and myself and anyone who has been through death in the family.”

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, SPF said that it was aware of the photo, and had reached out to the family of the deceased to apologise for the officer’s actions.

“The Police are aware of posts circulating online showing a police officer posing next to a blue tent,” SPF said.

“The post pertains to a case of unnatural death attended by the Police on 28 June 2022. The deceased was found lying motionless at the foot of a block.

“The Police had contacted the next-of-kin of the deceased and apologised for the officer’s actions.”

SPF clarified that the officer was not posing for a photo, but acknowledged that his behaviour had been inappropriate.

“While the officer was not taking a photo of himself at the scene, he had responded inappropriately to the presence of onlookers in the vicinity,” the post continued.

“All police officers are expected to maintain professionalism in managing incidents. The Police will be taking internal action against the officer.”

In a subsequent Facebook post, Ms Lim said that the police had called to apologise, and that their apology had been accepted.

“We appreciate the fast action and assurance they will reinforce ... sensitivity when handling such cases,” she said.

“We wish to rest the matter and let our family have privacy as we prepare for final (arrangements for) our aunt.

“(Thank) you all friends for your condolences and support.”

Ms Lim’s original post is no longer visible on Facebook. As of 2pm on Wednesday, it had been shared about 160 times.

Source: CNA/kg(gr)

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