Written Reply by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, to Parliamentary Question on High-rise Littering
Mr Seah Kian Peng: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment (a) since March 2021, what has been the outcome of high-rise littering surveillance operations; and (b) whether the Ministry has implemented any new measures, apart from the existing optical or thermal camera technology, to improve the success rate of such operations.
1 The National Environment Agency (NEA) deploys surveillance cameras with video analytics where there is persistent feedback, to catch offenders in the act of high-rise littering. More than 400 high-rise littering incidents were captured on surveillance cameras in March and April 2021. In the past 6 months, 240 camera deployments were made monthly and an average of 220 high-rise littering incidents per month were captured on our surveillance cameras. Investigations are on-going and enforcement action will be taken against offenders where there is sufficient evidence. We have issued 150 summonses against 50 offenders on average per month in 2020, which was an increase as compared to 90 summonses against 30 offenders prosecuted per month in 2019.
2 The deployment of cameras has resulted in savings in manhours for surveillance and enabled NEA to tackle high-rise littering more effectively. However, investigation into such cases is time-consuming and does not allow for expeditious resolution. The cost of high-rise littering surveillance is substantial. To enhance enforcement capabilities, NEA will continue to keep pace with developments in camera technology for high-rise littering surveillance and improve its work processes through data analytics. NEA also partners Town Councils to enable timely information-sharing to facilitate the investigation of high-rise littering offences.
3 At the same time, we must continue to cultivate social graciousness, good habits and collective responsibility to keep Singapore clean and safe. NEA adopts complementary strategies such as shaping community norms to deter high-rise littering. Since 2020, NEA has been placing informative standees at public areas with persistent littering feedback, to deter people from committing high-rise littering offences. NEA also works with Town Councils to install posters jointly developed with the Municipal Services Office at HDB blocks, highlighting the environmental and social consequences of high-rise littering.