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Fighting cyber criminals while keeping order in Queenstown
DSP Joshua Jesudason relishes the challenge of keeping the SPF relevant and trusted by society in changing times.
DSP Joshua Jesudason relishes the challenge of keeping the SPF relevant and trusted by society in changing times. PHOTO: SPH MEDIA/FRENCHESCAR LIM

A recipient of the prestigious SPF scholarship, he studies crime trends, and recently helped to develop an in-app game to counter scams

Stay safe from scams… and stand a chance to win a wireless speaker, an air fryer, a blender or birds’ nest? 

No, you are not being played. In the “Spot the Signs, Stop the Crimes” game on Shopee Prizes, shoppers answer questions on a variety of scams prevalent in Singapore, and are rewarded with Shopee coins, vouchers, and more.

Launched in October last year, the in-app game – the first gamification project for scam education on a major e-commerce platform – now reaches about 11,000 players daily. The interactive game was produced by a Singapore Police Force (SPF) team that Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Joshua Jesudason, Commanding Officer of Queenstown Neighbourhood Police Centre (NPC), was part of. 

“We did this in the form of a quiz-based game to create an element of challenge and competition, which adds interest to what may otherwise be repetitive advisories from the Police. SPF will continue to explore novel ways to strengthen the public’s resilience against scammers,” says DSP Jesudason, who is the recipient of the SPF Scholarship.

Ahead of the curve
With cyber criminals becoming smarter and more devious, officers have to come up with creative solutions to deter them and remain one step ahead. The Shopee scam game was particularly effective at educating a younger, more tech‑savvy generation that remains vulnerable to online scams. Reaching youth in Singapore is close to DSP Jesudason’s heart. 

 At 28 years old, he is one of the youngest Commanding Officers in the SPF. He joined the Force in 2017, and five years on, he now oversees the Queenstown Neighbourhood Police Centre. There, he is in charge of keeping law and order within his jurisdiction, and also closely monitors and provides guidance to his officers.

He also studies crime trends and explores new ways that the NPC can reduce crime. These come in the form of closer collaboration with community partners, such as Shopee, to project police presence, and encouraging stakeholder vigilance against common offences.

Much of his time is also spent overseeing officers’ training. He charts their professional growth, and ensures that they maximise their potential. While some may perceive his years of service as a disadvantage, DSP Jesudason notes that authority stems from competence and service – not seniority. 

He points out: “Many of my officers have been in the Force longer than I have, but I strive to 

 add value to their career planning by providing them with fresh perspectives, and helping to brainstorm ways for them to upskill through training and exposure to new types of work. 

“While the demand for law and order is inelastic, the means by which it is achieved has evolved over time. Officers cannot remain static, but have to be agile and adaptive.”

In particular, DSP Jesudason finds it deeply gratifying to be able to help officers who are experiencing challenges, or to help them seize new opportunities to excel. 

“Officers often express their gratitude in their own ways. These are small reminders that my efforts are appreciated and that I can make an impact on the lives of others,” he says.

Levelling up
DSP Jesudason, who holds both the President’s Scholarship and The Singapore Police Force Scholarship, decided to apply for a public service scholarship after his A levels as he knew that he would be most 

 suited for a career in the uniformed services. He enjoys being in the highly disciplined environments a uniformed service offers. 

As his parents work in the social work and mental healthcare sector, serving in the SPF appealed to him the most as the work did not feel too distant from social reality and kept him on his toes. 

He explains: “While the work can be emotionally taxing and physically tiring, it is also deeply fulfilling. SPF is diverse, and there is a sense of conviction that is symbolised by the uniform that officers wear. I believe that the unity is rooted in deeply-held beliefs, which is why friendships in the Force form so quickly, even in the face of challenges.”

The SPF Scholarship gave DSP Jesudason the opportunity to pursue a bachelor’s degree in history and politics at Oxford University, and thereafter a master’s degree in conflict studies at the London School of Economics.

“Reading history and politics at Oxford taught me how to think critically and gave me more confidence to develop my own views. It also helped me develop the practice of exploring new ideas and processes, which I have applied to my work as a Commanding Officer,” he notes.

Such a growth mindset is key in the new era of policing. While safety and security are necessary preconditions for a stable and prosperous Singapore, new disruptors, such as borderless cyber threats, have emerged.

DSP Jesudason points out that the SPF is constantly developing its competencies to remain relevant and to stay ahead of the curve in today’s rapidly changing world. For instance, it is now able to seize bank accounts to stop criminal transactions much more quickly than in the past, through close collaboration with banks. 

The SPF’s digital forensics capabilities have also greatly improved, allowing officers to better detect and seize digital evidence. Even its officers, regardless of age, are savvier in handling digital evidence, and ensuring that it is preserved – and seized – for investigations. 

And as Singapore’s social fabric evolves with time, DSP Jesudason believes the SPF will continue to adapt to keep itself relevant and maintain high levels of public trust.

He says: “Balancing necessary change, and yet staying committed to our strong fundamentals is no easy feat. Nevertheless, it is a challenge that I relish.”

About the SPF Scholarship
The Singapore Police Force Scholarship is awarded by the Public Service Commission to candidates with outstanding academic performance and leadership qualities. Scholars will continue on their learning journeys in world-renowned universities which provide intellectually, socially and personally enriching programmes, and upon returning to Singapore, they will be involved in shaping policies to address issues on public law and order and play an integral role in protecting our country and the community. 

This article is brought to you by the Singapore Police Force.

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