Police roll out CCTVs in 7 neighbourhoods

Police have begun the installation of closed-circuit TV (CCTV) cameras at 300 Housing Board (HDB) blocks and multi-storey carparks in seven neighbourhoods.

The cameras will first be installed in Bishan, Bukit Merah, Clementi, Punggol, Sengkang, Tampines and Woodlands.

The pilot phase of the CCTV- camera installation, which began on Monday, will be completed next month.

Islandwide installation of the cameras is expected to be completed in 2016.

By then, CCTV cameras would have been installed at all 10,000 HDB blocks and multi-storey carparks here.

The initiative is part of the new Community Policing System, announced in Parliament earlier this year.

The police said the cameras will help deter crime and facilitate investigations.

CCTV cameras were first used in policing efforts in public spaces in 2002, but the police said this is the first time they are being rolled out islandwide.

The first phase of installation will commence in the last quarter of this year, while the second to fourth phases will be carried out from next year till 2016.

The police said they will refine their camera deployment and implementation plans and assess public feedback on the installed cameras after the pilot is completed.

The cameras will be installed at public spaces in HDB blocks, such as lift lobbies and stairwells, as well as at points of entry and exit to multi-storey carparks.

A blue-and-white sign which reads "Police Camera In Operation" will be put up near each camera.

The cameras will not be monitored "live", but the recorded footage may be used by the police to help solve crimes.

Footage is recorded continuously, and new images will overwrite previously recorded footage on a monthly basis.

Residents of Block 104 in Jalan Bukit Merah reacted favourably when they caught sight of the newly installed cameras on Tuesday morning.

Speaking in Mandarin, resident Lim Cheng Har, 59, who is a cleaner at a kindergarten, said their presence is a good way to improve the safety of residents.

Having lived on the 10th floor of the block for over 20 years, she said the area was a hot spot for loan-shark activities, even though such activities have died down over the last two years.

She said: "I hope that the cameras will deter loan sharks' runners from disturbing residents in the block completely."

Cook Abu Bakar, 51, who lives on the ground floor, said the CCTVs make him feel "more secure".

He stressed that it is important that they are regularly "maintained to ensure they are actually working".


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