A woman calls the police for help when she locks herself in her apartment after having incurred gambling debts.
As police attempt to negotiate with the more agitated man who is threatening to kill himself, the situation becomes chaotic. The calamity ends if the police access the apartment and stop it.
This scenario has been re-enacted by police on Tuesday in the media at the Home Team Tactical Center to explain how the standoff situation looks – when an individual avoids arrest by police or tries a suicide in a unit.A woman calls the police for assistance when she locks her distracted husband in her flat with debts to gambling. As the police try to negotiate with the increasingly agitated person who is in danger of killing himself the situation becomes chaotic. The calamity ends when the police access the apartment and stop it.
This scenario was re-enacted by the police in the Tactical Center on Tuesday in order to explain to the media how the situation stands — when a person is locked in the unit by evading police detention or trying to commit suicide – looks like.
“A stand-off situation can be highly dynamic,” said Assistant Commissioner of Police Gregory Tan Siew Hin, commander of Central Police Division.
“In some incidents, the individual… turned violent and threatened the safety of others within the unit and that of responding police officers.”
He said the priority is to resolve the situation safely and ensure those involved receive medical attention if needed.
Ground Response Force officers like Inspector Shahreel Samsudin are responding first to these situations.
He said: “We assess the situation, get the layout of the place and gather as much information as we can. From there, we determine the next step.
“If the door is locked but the person is talking to us, we will try to get them to open the door.”
Situations that can last for 12 hours but stand-off situations are often difficult. In recent years, the police have adapted their protocol to ensure that on-site and on short notice options are available to handle negotiations and the force entry where necessary. AC Tan explained why the public frequently sees several police officers responding to these situations. These include Crisis Negotiation Unit (CNU) officials and Command of Special Operations.
AC Tan said that the ideal result is to surrender without using force for the other party.
“Many incidents have been resolved without any force due to persistent and effective engagement,” he added.
CNU psychologists and officers trained in negotiation tactics also have an important role to play. Ms Ho Hui Fen, CNU’s main psychologist, said: “The ability to communicate effectively and show empathy is an important skill for negotiators. The tools of the business are active listening skills.
Furthermore, a key requirement of all negotiators is that they care about the person with whom they deal.”She told me that a challenge for negotiators is to have a relation with someone who might not wish to speak, is poisoned, or has problems with mental health.Once Ms Ho had to negotiate on a balcony, drunk and suicidal with a naked man.
The layout of the building prevented a tactical choice and the only way to make the man safer was to negotiate.
“Luckily, he eventually came down from the balcony safe and sound,” she said.
Source: The New Paper