According to the current regulations, residents in HDB flats are not allowed to install CCTV cameras outside their units, unless approved by the respective Town Councils.
A question on the installation of a closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera outside HDB flats drew mixed reactions from Singaporeans, with some saying it is acceptable for them.
Posed on 12 January to the Facebook group Complaint Singapore, the question – could you accept a neighbour monitoring your daily movements along the common corridor of an HDB block through the installation of a CCTV camera outside their home? – drew hundreds of responses, reported Channel News Asia (CNA).
Jimmy Lin shared it was acceptable for him since “you will never know when you need the footage from your neighbour to help you in case of theft or other matters”, while William Liew found it to be good, saying it was like having “free security surveillance”.
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Others, however, underscored that the installation of CCTV cameras outside HDB flats is not allowed.
Indeed, the law does not allow residents in HDB flats to install CCTV cameras outside their units, unless approved by the respective Town Councils.
Under the Community Disputes Resolution Act, individuals are enjoined from causing “unreasonable interference” with their neighbour’s use or enjoyment of their place of residence, and includes “surveillance” of their neighbour’s place of residence.
A neighbour may file civil proceedings against any resident found flouting the Act.
Moreover, the use of common areas, including those outside flats, is subject to town council by-laws.
Despite this, merchants selling CCTVs revealed that the number of people purchasing CCTV cameras for use outside homes have been on the uptrend in the past year.
Eric Cheong, owner of Choicecycle CCTV, said they registered a 20% increase in sale of CCTVs for use outside of homes, adding that they sell “hundreds of pieces” per month.
Derek Peh, Sales Manager at I-Secure Solution, said most people install CCTV cameras outside their homes due to harassment by others, neighbourly disputes and theft of their belongings placed outside corridors.
I-Secure Solution sells around 100 to 200 CCTV cameras for residential use per month.
“Normally before they install, they already make police report and seek approval from town council,” said Tan Yi Chong, who handles business development for Surveillance Zone Singapore, as quoted by CNA.