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A crime-busting career

Investigation officer (IO) ASP Aiswarya deals with cases of violence, sexual violation, death and criminal breach of trust, among others, which has shown the 26-year-old the darker side of life.

In her two years on the job, the 26-year- old Singapore Police Force (SPF) scholar has engaged in multiple forms of crime enforcement work. Her daily responsibilities involve gathering and processing evidence and ensuring that felons are prosecuted.

Periodically, she performs longer shifts to attend to cases reported by members of the public, and interviews witnesses as part of the investigation process.

In instances when the accused person is at large, she joins other officers to track him or her down.

She sees a criminal case through until an accused is prosecuted in court or otherwise dealt with.

Critical skills

ASP Aiswarya obtained a bachelor’s degree in life sciences with honours, specialising in Molecular and Cell Biology at the National University of Singapore on the SPF Local Merit Scholarship, which provided tuition fees and allowances.

The SPF scholarship provides opportunities for scholars to cultivate expertise through multiple platforms even before they begin work in the Police Force.

Such platforms include the Vacation Attachment Programme that aims to equip scholars with crucial skill sets by the time they begin work.

For instance, ASP Aiswarya got to visit various units such as the K-9 unit, where police dogs are specially trained to help law enforcement personnel, the Police Coast Guard, the marine police division of the SPF.

She was free to choose almost any university course and chose to pursue her interest in biology and the mechanisms of living organisms.

The degree’s relevance to her crime- busting profession may not be apparent, but she says: “My degree has developed my analytical and critical thinking skills, which come in useful when analysing evidence or piecing a puzzle together.”

She adds: “When it comes to interviewing witnesses or questioning accused persons, possessing soft skills such as reading body language is crucial too.”

Multiple opportunities

One of the perks of working in a large organisation, she says, is that the staff is given opportunities to work at different departments and engage with many forms of policing work.

Indeed, there never seems to be a dull moment for her. ASP Aiswarya is poised for a new challenge. She is set to be a team leader, and will be involved in the frontline aspects of policing.

Her current posting has piqued her interest in investigation work, and she plans to delve deeper into the investigation fraternity.

“I see myself becoming an IO at the Criminal Investigation Department’s Serious Sexual Crime Branch, a role where I can help victims of sexual crimes and ensure justice is served,” she says.