We refer to Mr Matthew Chua’s Forum letter, “Authorise lethal force if a suspect injures a police officer” (Nov 5).
Police officers are empowered to use force in the discharge of their duties.
When confronting a suspect, police officers are trained to assess the threat and decide on the most appropriate course of action, including the force that is needed.
They consider the legality and proportionality of their possible actions, and the safety of the parties and of the members of the public in the vicinity.
They use only the level of force that is deemed necessary, and not more, even though it may take more time and effort on the part of the officers to subdue the suspect.
Force options include unarmed tactics, batons and tasers, as well as lethal options such as firearms.
Lethal force may be used when officers are faced with an imminent threat of grievous hurt or death to themselves or others.
This includes situations where the threat is directed at the larger public.
The careful calibration in use of force has been critical to maintaining Singaporeans’ trust in the police, and yet ensure that we continue to be effective in carrying out our mission.
We thank Mr Chua for his concern over our officers’ safety. Indeed, they put their own safety and lives on the line every time they intervene to prevent the commission of an offence, or to protect members of the public.
Brenda Ong (Superintendent)
Assistant Director (Public Communications Division)
Public Affairs Department
Singapore Police Force