Stabbed NParks enforcement officer in stable condition after surgery
The safe distancing enforcement officer from the National Parks Board (NParks) who was stabbed while on duty is in a stable condition after undergoing surgery at Changi General Hospital, the board told The Straits Times yesterday.
A 61-year-old man was arrested for attempted murder on Monday and is expected to be charged today.
The man, who did not have a mask on, was apparently cutting pandan leaves at Sungei Serangoon Park Connector on Monday when NParks officers approached him. He attacked one of them with a sharp instrument and fled on his bicycle.
The officer, who had serious injuries to his chest, arm and hand, was conscious when taken to the hospital.
The incident has raised concerns among the thousands of safe distancing ambassadors, including government officers and volunteers. They hit the markets, parks, malls and other public areas daily to ensure that people observe safe distancing guidelines.
Some 1,000 NParks officers have been deployed to parks, gardens and nature reserves to keep green spaces safe for the public, said Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee, who is also Second Minister for National Development.
NParks has contacted its ambassadors to update them on the incident and reassure them that their safety is of utmost importance.
Enterprise Singapore said it has safety measures in place for its pool of about 450 safe distancing ambassadors, who are mainly recruited from industries affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.
"Our ambassadors typically work in pairs so they can keep a lookout for each other. They have also been briefed on safety protocols should they face any threat or aggressive behaviour from businesses or individuals," said its spokesman.
Ms Marianne Tan, 32, a freelance emcee who signed up to be a safe distancing ambassador, said the incident was "a little shocking".
"It really drove home the fact that this could potentially happen to anyone, so we have to be careful in the way we approach people and to stand at arm's length."