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Hong Kong to install IP cameras to combat illegal dumping

According to an announcement
made by the Hong Kong SAR Government, the Food and Environmental Hygiene
Department (FEHD) in Hong Kong will progressively extend the scheme on
installation of Internet Protocol (IP) cameras to combat illegal dumping.

The press release stated that the FEHD will install IP
camera at “illegal refuse deposit blackspots” in all districts starting from 6 June
to combat illegal deposits of refuse and improve environmental hygiene.

 A spokesman for the FEHD said the Department FEHD launched a six-month pilot
scheme on installation of IP cameras at six refuse deposit blackspots in
Central and Western, Sham Shui Po and Yuen Long districts in late December 2016.
The pilot scheme was said to have effectively curbed illegal dumping through
targeted surveillance and enforcement actions. 
In view of these encouraging results, the FEHD, after consulting all District
Councils, will extend the scheme to cover about 80 refuse deposit blackspots in
the territory for a trial period of one year. The
scheme will be reviewed one year after implementation. 

When the scheme commences next week, IP cameras installed at
46 blackspots in various districts will be ready for use and installation work
at the remaining blackspots will be conducted progressively.

“FEHD officers will closely monitor the targeted blackspots
and suitably adjust its action plans in light of actual circumstances,
including the change of IP camera locations in a timely manner, so as to
enhance the effectiveness of enforcement actions,” said the spokesman.

Strict compliance
with privacy laws

The press release the FEHD is implementing the arrangements in accordance with
the Guidance
on CCTV Surveillance and Use of Drones
issued by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal
, including posting notices in the areas covered by the IP cameras.

According to the Guidance of CCTV Surveillance and Use of
Drones, when installing a CCTV system, the data use should ensure that:

The cameras are not installed in places where
people are expected to enjoy privacy;

The CCTV system is protected from vandalism or
unlawful access;

The people affected are explicitly informed that
they are under CCTV surveillance, the purpose of surveillance and the mean to
raise an enquiry;

The personal data collected by the CCTV system
is deleted as soon as practicable when the purpose of the surveillance is
completed, and

The effectiveness of the safeguards and
procedures for the CCTV system is regularly reviewed.

In addition, the Department has formulated clear operational
guidelines, and requires staff to strictly comply with the provisions on the
manner of collecting personal data under the Personal
Data (Privacy) Ordinance (Cap 486)
and to handle privacy matters

The disclosure of images captured is restricted to the
extent necessary for legal action to be taken. Should no prosecution be
instituted against irregularities within six months, the images so
captured will be deleted.

approach to combat illegal dumping

The spokesman also stressed that the FEHD would continue to
combat illegal refuse deposits in a multi-pronged manner. Members of the public
are urged to observe the laws and be civic-minded. They should deposit
refuse properly or may be prosecuted. 

Since mid-2017, the Department has set up six dedicated
enforcement teams to step up enforcement actions against various public
cleanliness offences.
The full list of the installation locations of the IP cameras can be found here.

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