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Honouring Our Dedicated Crimefighters
From arresting a serial molester to saving a life, Police officers received the Commissioner of Police’s High Commendation Award for their outstanding dedication and service.

Singapore Police Force (SPF) officers know their four core values by heart: courage, loyalty, integrity and fairness. This year, 11 outstanding individuals and teams were awarded the Commissioner of Police’s High Commendation Award. Here are some of their stories.

All Hands on Deck to Nab a Serial Molester
He preyed on primary school students, some as young as 10-years-old, as they were making their way to school. Staff nurse Aldrin Illias, 39, was a sly and calculating criminal – to cover his tracks, he wrapped his fingers in masking tape (to prevent leaving DNA evidence), changed into different sets of clothing and avoided surveillance cameras.

Apprehending Aldrin was an urgent task for Police officers from the Ang Mo Kio Police Division – an effort which required the collaboration of officers from Neighbourhood Police Centres (NPCs) in Sengkang, Hougang and Serangoon. 

It required the teamwork of Police officers from different NPCs to finally apprehend the suspect. From left: Sergeant (VSC) Muhammad Adhwa Haziq, Assistant Superintendent of Police Muhamad Iskandar Abdul Kadir, Deputy Superintendent of Police Low Jing Haur and Staff Sergeant Sri Ganesh. PHOTO: Muhamad Khair

The officers undertook an extensive amount of groundwork that included interviewing the victims and examining the suspect’s pattern of offences. The investigative process lasted two weeks and included an intensive, five-day stake-out operation. During this period, close to 100 Police officers were deployed each day at locations where Aldrin might strike again.

“To be frank, we didn’t know exactly who we were looking out for. We only had a brief description of how he looked,” said Staff Sergeant (SSgt) Sri Ganesh. 

And then the officers got their break. Ssgt Sri Ganesh was with Voluntary Special Constabulary (VSC) officer Sergeant Muhammad Adhwa Haziq when they spotted Aldrin behaving suspiciously at an overhead bridge near a primary school in Sengkang. He was seen pacing up and down the bridge, and his unusual choice of clothing – a smart, long-sleeved shirt paired with short pants – caught the attention of the officers.

Aldrin was approached by the two officers as he was smoking at a carpark nearby. “We started a normal conversation,” said SSgt Sri Ganesh. “He began getting more nervous, and his expression showed that he was trying to hide something from us.”

The Senior Investigation Officer also noticed something else that was amiss – Aldrin had masking tape on his fingers. He’d already tried to remove the tape, as two pieces were later found on the ground.

“Nobody would put tape on their fingers – that was the giveaway,” said SSgt Sri Ganesh. “That’s when he realised that he wasn’t going to get away.” 

Further checks of Aldrin’s bag also revealed that he’d brought multiple sets of clothing. It was later discovered that he’d used these to alter his appearance, even wearing spectacles to hide his actual appearance.

In April 2018, Aldrin was convicted of molesting at least six schoolgirls and sentenced to three years’ jail and 10 strokes of the cane. Asked whether the team felt validated for their efforts in apprehending him, SSgt Sri Ganesh said, “We just feel that we got a criminal off the streets. There’s a sense of satisfaction in that.”

Saving a Life While on Duty

Police officers face many unexpected challenges in their work, and Sergeant (Sgt) Abdul Rahman’s experience is no different.
Sgt Abdul Rahman has been with the Tampines NPC for five years,  since his National Service days. PHOTO: Muhamad Khair

On 20 December 2017, Sgt Rahman was manning the Tampines East Neighbourhood Police Post (NPP) when he was alerted by a member of public to an incident –a domestic helper was attempting suicide by standing on the bamboo poles outside her employer’s unit. Sgt Rahman immediately rushed down to the scene, which was just a block away from where he was stationed.

“I was afraid that there wouldn’t be enough time to activate resources to help as it was a life-and-death situation,” said the NPC officer.

Making his way up to the unit on the fifth floor, Sgt Rahman found that the front gate was locked. The elderly woman in the residence couldn’t unlock it as she was unable to walk, but she managed to throw the keys to Sgt Rahman so that he could enter the unit.

Within minutes, Sgt Rahman was able to pull the domestic helper to safety, with the help of a member of the public. It was the first time he’d single-handedly attended to such an incident without the help of other Police officers.

“It was quite scary, actually. If the maid were to fall, I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night,” said the 28-year-old. “After I pulled her in, my hands were shaking.”

After the ordeal, Sgt Rahman took a short break before resuming his duties at the NPP for the day. In his five years with the SPF, Sgt Rahman has attended to many cases, but he’s still learning new things about his job, and is eager to share his experience with new officers.

“Every day is a different day. As police officers, we attend to different cases all the time,” he said. “My family knows that my job can be dangerous, and they do tell me to always be careful, and to take care of myself.” 

About the Commissioner of Police’s Commendation Award
A total of 100 awards were presented to individuals and teams at the Commissioner of Police’s Commendation Award Ceremony on 18 June 2018.  Of these, 11 were High Commendation Awards. These celebrate deserving individuals and teams for their consistent, outstanding work, meritorious service and outstanding leadership.
© 2019 Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. All Rights Reserved.

  1. by Muhamad Khair
  2. 21 June 2018
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