CCTV to zoom in on scourge of illegal dumping in Hong Kong

Black spots near restaurants will be monitored in pilot scheme to stamp out poor hygiene conditions

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 September, 2016, 11:32pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 21 September, 2016, 12:09am

CCTV will be installed at black spots under a pilot scheme in the fight against the ­illegal dumping of rubbish.

The measure, to be launched by the end of this year, aims to curb poor hygiene conditions in areas such as back alleys close to restaurants.

Secretary for Food and Health Dr Ko Wing-man hopes the installation of closed-circuit TV will help enforce the law.

“Rubbish may not be dumped at daytime in these areas. It was reported that dumping of rubbish from homes or restaurants at ­inappropriate locations may ­happen at midnight,” he said yesterday after meeting the chairmen and vice chairmen of district council food and environmental hygiene committees.

The 18 councils will be asked to identify hygiene black spots ­requiring further surveillance.

The pilot scheme is expected to last from six months to a year.

When asked about privacy concerns, health officials said guidelines on CCTV surveillance issued by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner would be ­followed.

“If the installation involves ­external walls of private buildings, we will seek consent from the owners’ corporations or owners of the buildings before proceeding,” Vivian Lau Lee-kwan, ­director of food and environmental hygiene, said.

“If installation is required at public places, we will also seek opinion from relevant [government] departments,” she said.

Meanwhile, Ko warned that the risk of contracting dengue fever locally remains a real one after the city’s fourth local case was reported on Monday.

“The weather is still humid and rainy, and the temperature has not dropped below 20 degrees Celsius. Mosquitoes could remain active,” he said.

Officers from the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department conducted mosquito control measures yesterday in Tin Ma Court, Wong Tai Sin, where the latest confirmed victim lives.

A spokesman from the Centre for Health Protection said the type of dengue contracted by the ­resident, a 59-year-old woman, was found to be different from that of the three previous casesin Central or the Mid-Levels.

The woman in Wong Tai Sin was tested positive for serotype one of the virus, while the other three were serotype three.

“While further laboratory ­investigations are under way, in view of a possibly new cluster other than that in Central or Mid-Levels, we are conducting extensive investigations with the department to control the possible spread,” the spokesman said.

Centre staff have conducted an investigation and spoken to those living near the latest victim. Blood tests arranged for at least 26 people were found to be clear.

The public, especially those living in Central and Wong Tai Sin, were asked to stay vigilant and ­remove stagnant water to prevent mosquitoes from breeding.