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Policeman falsely accused of bullying older woman in Yishun ‘relieved, glad truth is out’

SINGAPORE — A policeman falsely accused of bullying an older woman in Yishun, when he was just helping her find her way home, has said that he is relieved and glad that the truth is out in the open.

Station Inspector Jeff Lim (pictured) said that the recent incident of online users falsely accusing him of misconduct would not affect how he conducts his duties in future.

Station Inspector Jeff Lim (pictured) said that the recent incident of online users falsely accusing him of misconduct would not affect how he conducts his duties in future.

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  • Station Inspector Jeff Lim said he felt wronged initially, but the incident won’t deter him from helping those in need
  • He gave his version of events to the media after online posts claimed police had bullied an elderly woman
  • The truth was that they were helping her find her way home 
  • Station Inspector Lim said he was “glad that the truth is out”

 

SINGAPORE — A policeman falsely accused of bullying an older woman in Yishun, when he was just helping her find her way home, has said that he is relieved and glad that the truth is out in the open. 

Giving his account to reporters over video-calling tool Zoom on Friday (May 28), Station Inspector Jeff Lim, 45, said that he did not expect the incident to blow up in the way that it had.

While he felt wronged initially, he said that it would not deter him from helping members of the public who are in need. 

“I felt relieved after that,” Station Inspector Lim said during an interview arranged by the police. “I’m glad that the truth is out.”

Last Wednesday, the police refuted online posts by Instagram user @nichology accusing officers of bullying an older woman in Yishun earlier that week. The truth was that they were helping her find her way home. 

Her family later confirmed that the woman has dementia.

The posts were shared by alternative news websites The Online Citizen (TOC) and Singapore Uncensored. The Government later issued correction orders to the Instagram user and the two websites under Singapore’s anti-fake-news laws. 

Earlier this week, TOC published a video interview with the woman on Facebook, which it claimed countered the police’s version of events.

This drew a rebuke from Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam, who described the website as “malicious” and “despicable” in the way it “twisted facts”. 

In a rare move, the police released footage from Station Inspector Lim’s body-worn cameras to debunk TOC’s version of events.

Station Inspector Lim, who is deputy team leader of the Yishun South Neighbourhood Police Centre, recounted that he was sad when he heard about the Instagram post that cast doubt on his actions.

“I felt that it was unfair for (the Instagram account) to (post) false allegations about us online,” the police officer who has served in the force for 23 years said. 

Even so, he was grateful for the support and encouragement from his friends, family and the police force’s management team. 

In the digital age where everyone has mobile phones and can post content online, Station Inspector Lim said that it was important to always be truthful. 

“They can do what they want, but they should have a responsibility to post things that are factual online.”

It is important that people exercise discretion when using social media as well. 

“Don’t believe everything you see on the internet and find out the truth.”

Recalling the events that happened last Monday evening, Station Inspector Lim said that the police were called to help a woman who was not wearing a mask and appeared lost along Yishun Avenue 5. 

When he went to the location with his team leader, he said that the woman seemed disoriented. 

She could not remember her name and address, which he took as a sign that she may have dementia. 

While other police officers tried to locate her home with the help of a member of the public, Station Inspector Lim said that he tried to make her comfortable by chatting with her. 

Since it was around dinnertime and he was concerned that she was hungry, he bought two chicken wings for the woman at his own expense. They cost “S$2-plus”. 

“I just did it from my heart… it’s just a human helping another human,” he said.

In the video interview with TOC, the woman said that the police had not bought her food and she was “chased” back to her home. 

Yet, in the footage from Station Inspector Lim’s body-worn cameras, he was seen approaching a hawker to order food, saying that “the aunty requested it”.

Asked for his thoughts on the woman’s comments to TOC, Station Inspector Lim said: “I did not take it personally. I understand that she has dementia and may not remember what happened.”

He also said that he does not harbour ill will towards TOC. “I cannot control their emotions… and whatever they say or think. But I can control mine.” 

While the spotlight on the incident was unexpected, Station Inspector Lim said that it would not affect how he conducts his duties in the future.

“This whole incident shouldn’t stop us from helping members of the public,” he said.

Related topics

police online falsehoods dementia The Online Citizen

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