Cameras help identify many litterbugs

Cameras help identify many litterbugs

SOME 2,800 cases of high-rise littering were reported to the National Environment Agency (NEA) last year, said Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources Amy Khor yesterday.

This is up from the 2,500 cases reported in 2014, and 1,600 in 2013. No one was killed by killer litter last year although police arrested two high-rise litterbugs who caused injuries, she said.

Dr Khor was responding to Gan Thiam Poh (Ang Mo Kio GRC), who asked how many cases of high-rise littering had resulted in injuries and deaths.

Several MPs also called for harsher punishment for recalcitrant litterbugs, citing examples of residents who have complained of clothes being burned by cigarette butts and faeces being thrown from flats.

Dr Khor said high-rise litterbugs "are traditionally difficult to apprehend".

To nab the persistent offenders, the NEA deploys surveillance cameras at suitable sites, she added.

More than 3,000 cameras have been deployed since August 2012.

She said the cameras have led to identification of offenders in one-third of the cases, in response to Tan Wu Meng (Jurong GRC), who asked how successful the surveillance cameras have been.

Last year, the NEA took enforcement action in 800 cases, an 80-fold increase compared with 2011, before surveillance cameras were introduced, she said.

Those who were prosecuted in court were fined between $700 and $5,600.

Tin Pei Ling (MacPherson SMC) asked if the ministry would consider revealing the identities of litterbugs, and confiscating the flats of recalcitrant offenders who persist despite being fined many times.

Dr Khor said naming and shaming litterbugs is something the ministry will "monitor and consider".

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