Harrowing Experience of A Rookie Police Constable


Former Singapore Customs Officers Quarters

Harrowing Experience Of A Rookie  Volunteer Police Constable


In the 1980’s/90’s a row of shophouses in Mosque Street was used as quarters for the families of Singapore  Customs officers. This was gradually phased  out  as the practice of providing quarters to Government servants was discontinued. For a few years  after  that, these  became temporary rental flats to house those who needed cheap accommodation in Chinatown.

One day a corpse was discovered in the upper floors of one of the shophouses. The deceased ( one of the tenants) had committed suicide a number of days ago by hanging himself . His body was decaying and it  emitted a very strong foul smell. The Police was called.

Two regular Police officers together with a rookie volunteer police constable soon arrived at the scene.

The proper procedure was for one of the officers to hold onto the legs of the deceased while another officer would  cut the rope from which the man was hanging from and then lower the deceased down onto the floor. For some unclear reasons the proper procedure was not adhered to. Instead, the rookie volunteer police constable was instructed to catch the corpse of the deceased as the other police officer  cut the ropes.

As luck would have it, when the corpse fell from its hanging position, his lips hit smack onto the lips of the rookie volunteer police constable. The poor police constable screamed in shock. It seemed he quickly laid the corpse onto the floor and ran down the stairs screaming, spitting out and rubbing his lips with his handkerchief vigorously in an attempt to remove whatever the lips of the corpse may have passed onto his.

He was traumatised by this most harrowing experience. Soon this incident informally became a case-study of “what not to do” in the Police Academy training programme for new police recruits.

Leave a Comment