Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Singapore’s Crime In the 1900s


Crime ran crazy on the streets of Singapore in the 20th century. Will a new system save the day?
Crime in Singapore in 20th Century
Alright, please don’t mind if some of the characters look extremely alike. Also, please don’t mind if the comic isn’t really that funny. I have been watching too much smosh.
Okay, so the fingerprint identification system was started in the 1900s. Actually the first fingerprint identification was started with this guy called Dr. Henry Faulds (who happened to come from Japan) who identified a greasy fingerprint on a bottle. (Don’t ask me why he did that) However, fngerprint Identification was only used to catch criminals in 1901, and only in Britain. (But it is used in all english-speaking countries today)
That’s basically everything for fingerprint identification. However, Singapore also had lots of other crime problems besides fingerprints. Most of them were in the 19th century Here are some of them:
  1. People from Malaysia constantly quarreled with people from Riau. It was then very likely for fights to start.
  2. Convicts from India who were released for a day (because of religious ceremonies), would start rioting on the streets.
  3. Chinese secret societies were formed. The secret society promised to solve the people’s problems if the people joined them. Unfortunately, they did that mostly  by robbing people on the streets and in the shops. They also fought other races.
However, the British neglected the high crime in Singapore for many decades. The police force was small and the chief police officer did not even work full-time. The policemen didn’t have any uniforms and had to go on barefoot. And there were no Chinese policemen. Because of this, the Chinese would tend to ignore the warnings and arrests made by the police force and treat it as unfairness to the Chinese. The British didn’t really care much, as Singapore was made purely for profit.
The first breakthrough for crime-breaking was Thomas Dunman. He was on good terms with the people and would go around the city to get to know the people and what was the latest news. He ran night classes for policemen to help to educate them better, as most of the policeman were uneducated traders. He gave proper training to them and enforced a list of proper rules. He also tried to attract more and better people to the police force. He increased the pay and lessened the working hours of the policemen. He also gave an amount of money to the retired policeman every year. (That’s known as a pension) He retired in 1871.
Another excellent contribution to keep crime lower was the Chinese Protectorate. Since, the Chinese did not like listening to the police force, the Chinese Protectorate hoped to reach out to the Chinese instead. It was led by William Pickering. He was chosen because he knew many Chinese dialects. The Chinese Protectorate did well, they managed to weaken the secret societies by encouraging the Chinese to look for the government instead of the secret societies when they had problems. They also helped control coolie trade. Basically, a coolie is a labourer or slave from Asia, but the term is usually used in China and in India. Anyway, coolies were very popular in the 19th century, and Singapore happened to have a lot of coolies, because the people could not find other jobs. So, they decided to be coolies so that they could at least earn some money. However, the coolies were often locked in dirty and overcrowded places until someone wanted to hire them. Sometimes, they would even kidnap coolies unwillingly to got to other countries. The Chinese Protectorate checked the ships to make sure that the coolies were treated well and not dragged unwillingly.
Finally, as they entered the early 20th century, the C.I.D (Criminal Investigation Department) was set up. This was actually the department that introduced fingerprint identification to be used. The C.I.D usually handled very serious crimes. They dressed like clerks and laborers so that they blend in with the criminals.

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