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Gryphons of the East
AC Julius Lim, Commander of Bedok Police Division – this year’s recipient of the Best Land Division Award – shares what drives his officers to give their best.

Home Team News Bedok Police Division 01C
GRAPHIC: Home Team News

Inside Bedok Police Division Headquarters is a large, colourful painting on one of walls. The painting shows officers from Bedok Police Division helping residents, on patrol and catching offenders. Each little story is told with a uniquely Singaporean flavour that blended the firmness of Policing with empathy and humour, evoking a sense of kinship between the officers and the community. Imagine my surprise when I was told that the intricate painting was the work of a “Gryphon,” as officers of the Division proudly call themselves.  

Covering an area that stretches from Changi to Geylang, Bedok Police Division has had an eventful year with its officers solving a number of high-profile cases, organising a youth carnival and supporting our national COVID-19 efforts. Their commendable efforts helped them clinch the Singapore Police Force’s (SPF) Best Land Division Award this year. 

I was greeted warmly by Assistant Commissioner of Police (AC) Julius Lim, the Commander of Bedok Police Division, who shared more about himself and the good work of the Gryphons. 

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AC Julius Lim, Commander of Bedok Police Division. PHOTO: Fazlee Rosli

How did you decide on Policing as a career?
My brothers and I grew up in a household where the values of service and sacrifice were very important. My father was a military officer and my mother worked part-time at a local bank. My parents belonged to a generation whose hard work and dedication helped build a nation. 

These were the values that I inherited and have always carried with me. Therefore, when the time came to decide on my career, I knew I wanted to go into Public Service. SPF’s noble mission and capacity to drive change in the community were things I readily identified with. So, at the age of 18, I decided to sign on.

What are some of the initiatives by Bedok Police Division last year that you’re proud of? 
We recognise that the Police cannot solve safety and security problems alone. Therefore, Bedok Police Division’s strong partnership with the community has been the anchor for a range of new initiatives. For instance, in December 2019, various community partners came alongside us to organise Youth Carnival @ Bedok, which reached out to families in need and provided opportunities for youths to serve the community. By working with the community to address socio-economic challenges upstream, we’re in a stronger position to strengthen public trust and safety. 

Home Team News Bedok Police Division 03B
Launched on 8 December 2019, Youth Carnival @ Bedok marks the first inter-agency effort led by Bedok Police Division to reach out to youths. PHOTOS: SPF

What were your focus areas in terms of fighting crime? 
In addition to solving a number of major, high-profile cases last year, we’ve intensified our efforts to deal with the scourge of online scams by raising public awareness through anti-scam videos and leveraging social media and messaging platforms to push out crucial and timely advisories to the public. 

For example, since 2019, all Neighbourhood Police Centres in Bedok Police Division use WhatsApp to share crime prevention messages. We’ve also equipped and trained our crime-fighting units to better detect and arrest scammers. 

While we’ve made progress in dealing with scams, we’re not satisfied and will continue to work closely with our community and commercial partners to prevent and deter scams.

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Combating online crime: To raise public awareness about scams, Bedok Police Division has tapped on social media and messaging platforms to reach out to residents. PHOTOS: SPF
In your opinion, what is it that distinguishes Bedok Police Division's efforts? 
The Best Land Division Award reflects the kind of Division that SPF seeks to build – one in which officers have a strong sense of duty to SPF’s mission, are responsible to their communities, and take care of one another. As recipients of this year’s Award, our officers will strive to live these values and lead by example.  

But the challenges of fighting crime cannot be met by one Land Division alone. So the Best Land Division Award isn’t simply a recognition of Bedok Police Division’s performance, but an affirmation of the combined operational effectiveness of all SPF frontline and staff units, working together toward the same mission.

In addition to their regular responsibilities, what are some of the duties that your officers have taken on to support our COVID-19 efforts? 
Since the onset of COVID-19 earlier this year, SPF officers have been mobilised for various COVID-19-related deployments. In particular, over the past four months, our officers have been deployed to safeguard public order and safety at multiple Government Quarantine Facilities, dormitories and other areas. 

Despite the risks and prolonged deployments, our officers have stepped up to the challenge and performed their duties with pride and professionalism. At the same time, they continue to fight crime and keep our neighbourhoods safe. I’m proud of the strength and will that our officers have summoned to get through this challenging period. 

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One of AC Lim's priorities is to work with the community on crime prevention efforts. PHOTOS: Fazlee Rosli
2020 also marks the 200th year of the establishment of SPF. What are your aspirations for your officers on this occasion?  
On the 200th anniversary of SPF, we’re called to do more than commemorate our bicentennial. The COVID-19 outbreak poses grave challenges to Singapore’s economy and has accelerated the shift towards online crime. SPF will need to devise new ways to reduce online crime while helping to strengthen communities. That’s why Bedok Police Division has been working with the community and other stakeholders to translate our ideas into action, by renewing our anti-scams efforts and implementing programmes that address socio-economic challenges upstream.

Gryphons in Action
These are some of the high-profile cases cracked by officers of Bedok Police Division in 2019/2020:
- Armed robbery suspect arrested within 32 hours: On 12 July 2019, a masked suspect committed an offence of attempted armed robbery at a pawnshop in Bedok. The suspect was arrested within 32 hours.

- Assailants arrested within 28 hours of stabbing incident: On 30 August 2019, officers were alerted to a stabbing incident at about 1.25am at Geylang Lorong 39. Six suspects were arrested within 28 hours of the incident being reported.

- Mother charged with abandoning baby in Bedok North: In the early hours of 7 January 2020, a call was received by officers regarding a baby abandoned at a rubbish chute in Bedok North. A woman believed to be the mother of the baby was arrested on 13 February 2020.
© 2019 Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. All Rights Reserved.

  1. by Fazlee Rosli
  2. 15 June 2020
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