According to a piece of unreliable information leaked from an unrelated personnel, the police has realised the damage this handcuffing incident has done on their little reputation, and decided to revamp the Standard Operating Procedure of handcuffing the public.
Revised Standard Operating Procedure for Handcuffing Public Taking Photographs (SOPHPTP)
In all scenarios, before handcuffing subject in question, approach and ask for identity:
- If subject works for the press, grant permission to carry on, render help if necessary. Handcuffing a press journalist will guarantee negative press coverage for the police for a very long time.
- If subject is a blogger, leave him/her alone. Handcuffing a blogger will guarantee negative comments on blogs, Twitter, Facebook and all over the internet almost immediately.
- If subject is a Stomper, confiscate camera so that the photograph will not make it to Stomp.
- If subject is taking photographs purely for own collection and album, not related to anyone in the press and has no idea what is social media, handcuff him/her on the ground of causing obstruction to the police officer in the discharge of his duties and causing danger to himself and others.
THE flood last Saturday morning not only dampened the mood of residents who woke up surrounded by rainwater but also that of photojournalist Shafie Goh.
The 57-year-old veteran Lianhe Wanbao photojournalist was snapping shots of the flood in the Bukit Timah area when he was told by a policeman to move away. Minutes later, he was handcuffed.
What happened before the handcuffs were used is a matter of dispute: Mr Goh said he was asked to go only once and was about to leave when the police handcuffed him. The police, however, said that they had repeatedly asked Mr Goh to leave before they resorted to using force.
Speaking to The Straits Times on Sunday, Mr Goh said he was standing on a manhole trying to get a picture of some partially submerged cars when he was told by an officer to leave.
A police statement released on Sunday, however, said that officers had repeatedly asked Mr Goh to move to a safe place as he was taking photographs in a dangerous position. But the man refused to comply and continued walking along the road divider, snapping pictures.
A spokesman said: 'As he was causing obstruction to the police officer in the discharge of his duties and causing danger to himself and others, the officers decided to restrain him and move him to safe grounds, but the man resisted and put up a struggle.' The officers then had to handcuff him.