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Guardians of Our Home: Recovering Digital Evidence to Fight Crime

Be it a state-of-the-art hard drive or a mobile phone from the 1990s, Digital Forensic Examiners are committed to unlocking their secrets to support Police investigations.
PHOTOS: Soo Jun Xiang

Guardians of Our Home is a series that features civilian careers in the Home Team. Check out the MHA Merit Scholarship to learn how you can pursue a fulfilling career and jumpstart your leadership journey in Science and Technology.

Senior Forensic Examiner, Cyber Crime Response Team (Central Police Division), Home Team Science and Technology Agency (HTX)
Seated at her workstation, focused intently on unlocking a digital storage device or tinkering with the latest electronic gizmo – that’s where you’ll find Yan Ting, who loves all things tech.

As her father had previously served with the Singapore Police Force (SPF), Yan Ting found it a natural decision to follow in his footsteps and join the Home Team, where she’s proud to serve as a HTX Senior Forensic Examiner. She shares her S&T journey with us!

What inspired you to embark on a career in Digital Forensics?
I’ve always had a passion for all things IT – what’s the latest technology, and how does it work? It was almost like falling down a rabbit hole, and I loved it! My interest in Forensics was sparked when I took up a module in this field at Ngee Ann Polytechnic. That's why I joined the Home Team in 2015, so that I could apply my passion and knowledge towards keeping Singapore safe and secure. 

What does your role as a HTX Senior Forensic Examiner involve?
I help to recover and analyse data from digital devices such as smart phones and computers, to support Police investigations. My work contributes towards generating important leads, identifying suspects and solving crimes.

Cool tool: Yan Ting operating the Digital Forensic Kiosk, a self-service terminal developed by HTX to help investigators extract and analyse evidence from digital devices such as smartphones.

Share some misperceptions that people have about your role.
We don’t just stare at the computer screen and code all day. Recovering and analysing digital data is a meticulous process that requires a range of specialised skills, as well as tools such as the Digital Forensic Kiosk.

We're members of HTX’s Digital & Information Forensics Centre of Expertise, working alongside our SPF colleagues. This means we're assigned to crime scenes to support Police investigators by reviewing digital devices that may hold evidence of criminal activities.

Finally, given that we’re well-versed with the evidence that has been recovered from digital devices, and often work on a case from start to finish, I’m sometimes called upon to present my findings in Court. It’s an experience that’s different from our usual duties!

What are some of the learning and development opportunities you've had in the Home Team? 
The Home Team takes pride in developing its officers! There are opportunities to further our studies, and that's how I took up a degree sponsorship programme in IT, which provided me with a broader understanding of how S&T can support crimefighting. I was very excited to both upskill myself in a field I love and to contribute further to the Home Team.


How would you describe the work culture at HTX? 
We enjoy a close-knit bond. Everyone is very focused and driven in our responsibilities, and we care for one another too. Even though we work on cases individually, my team-mates and I regularly consult one another and brainstorm for solutions. That's how we overcome challenges as a team and tap on one another's experiences for the best outcomes! 

What do you love about being a Senior Forensic Examiner? 
It gives me a feeling of satisfaction when I’ve helped to uncover crimes. My team members and I take on this responsibility with pride as we know that our work contributes to enforcing the law and providing closure for victims of crime. 

Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) Merit Scholarship
The MHA Merit Scholarship is awarded to outstanding individuals who are passionate about strengthening Singapore’s security and public safety. 

Recipients of the MHA Merit Scholarship may choose from a variety of exciting and rewarding Home Team careers according to their interests and aspirations. This civilian scholarship offers six career tracks: a generalist track as a Home Affairs Senior Executive and five specialist tracks in Intelligence; Psychology; Commercial Affairs; Science and Technology; and Internal Security. 

Applications are now open! Click here to learn more about the MHA Merit Scholarship.

Guardians of Our Home
- Home Affairs Senior Executive career track: An Eye on the Future
- Intelligence career track: A Police Analyst at Work
- Commercial Affairs career track: Taking a Global View of Fighting Crime
- Psychology career track: Busting Myths About Being a Home Team Psychologist
- Science and Technology career track: At Work with a Crime Scene Specialist
- Internal Security career track: Internal Security, from the Inside

Written by

Shafiq Guee


19 February 2021

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