The proposal to form an anti-litter volunteer corps is worthy of public support, but warrants careful consideration to prevent any untoward incidents ("Volunteer corps with power to fine litterbugs being considered"; Monday).
There has to be a stringent selection process to ensure the right people are enlisted and trained to be socially responsible and impartial when discharging their duties.
Dealing with members of the public, especially litterbugs, requires tact and diplomacy. Older people who have been involved in civic groups or grassroots activities are more likely to have these attributes. In short, they make better volunteers.
Young people, especially students, may lack the experience and decorum in engaging offenders. Some can be insensitive to the feelings of others as well as overzealous in their dealings with the public. Hence, public relations should form an integral part of the training programme.
Besides obtaining public feedback on the proposed volunteer corps, it is beneficial to know the difficulties faced by National Environment Agency enforcement officers when carrying out their duties. This will be of help to the volunteers.
Jeffrey Law Lee Beng
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