HD enhances measures against throwing objects from height

Hong Kong (HKSAR) - Stepping up actions against the throwing of objects from a height, the Housing Department (HD) today (December 20) held a seminar cum kick-off ceremony for some 400 members of the Estate Management Advisory Committees (EMAC) to solicit their support for the new measures. "The department declares zero tolerance of the reckless acts of throwing objects from a height. Such behaviour is not just anti-social, it is criminal.

Offenders committing the acts will face severe consequences," said the Chief Manager/Management (Support Services), Mr Liu King-leung. The seminar aims to disseminate and reinforce the message of "Don't throw objects or let objects fall from a height" among Public Rental Housing (PRH) residents through their EMAC representatives. The HD has deployed additional resources to combat such behaviour, including the deployment of five additional Special Operation Teams and 10 extra sets of Mobile Digital Closed-Circuit Television Systems (MDCCTV).

"All the five additional Special Operation Teams are staffed by former policemen. We now have a total of 10 teams for stationing in various estates," said Mr Liu. "Banking on the experience and expertise of former policemen in evidence gathering and prosecution procedures, the teams will assist estate management staff in follow up work and investigation,"added Mr Liu.

The HD has also installed 10 extra sets of MDCCTVs at a total cost of about $2 million to enhance surveillance at strategic locations in PRH estates. Together with the existing 96 sets of Closed-Circuit Television System and 10 sets of MDCCTVs, the department has a total of 116 sets of monitoring equipment. In daily management, estate staff will strengthen enforcement action such as on-site patrol or inspection and remind tenants to remove dangling objects outside balconies or near windows, in order to prevent them from falling down accidentallyor being blown off by strong winds.

"The most effective measure is to cultivate civic-mindedness in our tenants not to throw objects from a height," Mr Liu said. He added that the HD had put up posters at strategic locations in estates all over the territory. Other publicity efforts include leaflets to be dispatched to tenants and messages through the Housing Channel and radio stations.

Mr Liu reminded tenants that under the "Marking Scheme for Estate Management in Public Housing Estates", seven points would be allotted for throwing objects from a height that jeopardises environmental hygiene while 15 points would be allotted for throwing objects from a height that may cause danger or personal injury. Tenancies would be terminated when 16 points or above are recorded within two years. Offenders throwing objects that may cause serious danger or personal injury will have their tenancy terminated immediately on top of possible prosecution by the police.

About 300 households have been allotted penalty points forthrowing objects from a height since the launching of the marking scheme in August 2003, and three of which have their tenancies terminated as a result. A task force at the HD headquarters has been set up to centrally monitor the progress of the enhanced measures and co-ordinate deployment of resources.

Published on: 2009-12-20

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