Police refuse to defuse bombs

From ‘Disturbed by police stance after bomb find’, 22 June 2011, ST Forum

(Lau Jiamin): I READ yesterday’s article (“Who should defuse war relic?”) and am surprised to read that the police could not respond by press time to queries as to why the company owner had to engage a private bomb disposal firm.

I am very disturbed by the stance taken by the police on public and private property. My family and myself have all these years understood that the police have the authority over both public and private property.

If such authority is not vested in the police, they would be unable to discharge their duties of serving and protecting the public.

Unless of course, the police do not consider defusing bombs as part of their service. Perhaps I should look to private security companies for crime prevention as well?

Whose bomb is it anyway?

The relic in question is a WWII bomb found at a construction site in Sungei Kadut, initially mistaken for a treasure chest. Untimely of the police to give the good ol’ shrug treatment really, when much feted local cop drama C.L.I.F has been featuring our boys and girls in blue rushing headlong, risking their very lives to disarm ticking dustbin bombs. So now we know what fantasy hokey all that really is, that instead of Courage Loyalty Integrity Fairness, the show’s title should really stand for Cowards Look  (on) In Fear. So much for terrorist drill exercises and all those high-tech training in cutting coloured wires, when we don’t even know what to do with a clunker dropped from a kamikaze plane decades ago. The least the cops could do really, instead of telling people to hire their own bomb disposal company (like, I don’t know, from Yellow Pages or something), is refer this job to the experts i.e the SAF Bomb disposal squad. Or perhaps they too haven’t done dangerous bomb plucking for so long that it is only expected of our severely inexperienced Home Team not to touch this potential scorcher with a 10 foot pole. The police and army were more useful in the 70’s (see below, Police: That airport bomb was home-made, 5 Feb 1975), while today we are at the mercy of officers who let terrorists escape from toilets and don’t know the first thing about defusing old bombs, who are more anxious over corpses contaminating our water supply than a ticking time bomb waiting to blow someone’s legs off. Just imagine how such wishy-washiness would do us all in if the bomb were really counting down to cause total annihilation.

Postscript: The bomb was eventually removed by the SAF’s Chemical Biological Radiological and Explosives Defence Group (CBRE). Upon further checking from a Mindef webpage, the exact unit performing the dirty work is 36 SCE, the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team. Nothing like complicated acronyms to diffuse responsibility, but if you ever find a suspected shell in your backyard, you know who to call. And it’s not 999.

EOD disarming a bomb meant for killing joggers


2 Responses

  1. Actually all major bomb disposal is done by 36 SCE. They are our very own explosion specialist. And if ever a life bomb is found, don’t count on the police to do anything except cordon off the area and let the boys in green do the job. It not really their fault cause this things are usually handled by soldiers and not police officers. Even in countries like England and France, defusing a bomb falls within the military job scope and not the police. Don’t lose hope in our police, I’m sure they are useful in other ways, since we all play a part in keeping Singapore safe. Besides, in C.L.I.F, it’s only a dust-bin bomb not something that is suppose to blow up upon impact, not stay buried for 60 years and become highly unstable.

    • Thanks for the clarification, though I’m still curious about the existence of ‘private bomb disposal companies’ and how they charge ppl who want bombs removed from their premises

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