Singapore – A question posted on social media regarding installing closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras on Housing and Development Board (HDB) common corridors sparked mixed responses from the online community.
On Jan 12, one Lam Ming Hui asked a few questions on Complaint Singapore’s Facebook page which began a thread among the online community.
Ms Hui asked, “Can you accept your neighbour to install their personal CCTV 24/7 monitor along your house outside the common passageway corridor and also voice recording?”
She also asked whether it was acceptable for one’s neighbour to use their CCTV at the main gate for more than two years.
Lastly, “Can you accept your neighbour to monitor your daily movement, including the number of guest visitors, what time your guests come and go back and how often your guests visit your house?”
Ms Hui noted that the CCTV was facing their house unit doorstep and included voice recording.
With over 261 comments to date, netizens and fellow residents responded to the post providing insight into the issue.
“My neighbour, one on the left and one on the right installed CCTV along common corridor. Am OK with it cause I actually feel a lot safer. Got people to help monitor leh,” said Facebook user Shireen Lim.
Many agreed with her comment, adding free security was good to have in case something should happen as it provides recorded footage of the premises.
However, cameras facing directly into another resident’s home presents privacy concerns. Facebook user Melvin Ch pointed out if the camera can look into another unit’s house, it’s not allowed as it’s an invasion of property. “If it’s the common corridor, need permission from HDB” or town council as others advised.
It is mentioned in the Community Disputes Resolution Act which was passed in 2015, that an individual who resides in a place of residence must not, directly or indirectly, and whether intentionally, recklessly or negligently, cause unreasonable interference with his or her neighbour’s enjoyment or use of the place of residence that the neighbour resides in.
These include causing excessive noise, smell, smoke, light or vibration, littering at or within the vicinity of the neighbour’s place of residence, obstructing the neighbour’s place of residents, and surveillance of the neighbour or of the neighbour’s place of residence, where the surveillance is done at or in the vicinity of that place of residence.
Residents in HDB flats are prohibited from installing CCTV cameras outside their homes unless with approval to do so from HDB.
A channelnewsasia.com report on Monday (Jan 18) highlighted that sale of CCTV units have increased from the last year by at least 20 per cent such as by CCTV merchant Choicecyle who noted they sell “hundreds of pieces” of surveillance cameras per month for residential use. Another merchant confirmed selling about 100 to 200 CCTV units per month to people who would install the device outside their flats.
The report also mentioned that prior to installing CCTV on common corridors, the residents must make a police report and seek approval from their respective town councils.
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