High-rise Littering – Presumption Under the Environmental Public Health (Amendment) Bill
High-rise littering refers to throwing or dropping objects from a high level, such as a balcony or window. The objects may range from something innocuous as tissues or snack wrappers, to dangerous items like lighted cigarette buds, glass beer bottles, and flower pots. Such conduct will not only result in environmental pollution but may cause harm and damage to property and/or persons below.
Singapore has implemented stringent laws and measures to combat high-rise littering.
Depending on the number of convictions and the severity of the offence, the punishment for a person found guilty of high-rise littering may include Corrective Work Orders, fines, and even imprisonment.
To further deter such conduct, starting from 1 July 2023, under the Environmental Public Health Act amendments, a statutory presumption will be in place whereby the registered owner or tenant of a residential unit from where the high-rise littering occurred will be automatically presumed to have committed the offence. Evidence obtained through surveillance cameras or submitted by the public may be used to identify the occupants and/or the residential unit responsible for high-rise littering. The owner or tenant must then, within 14 days, prove to the relevant authorities that they are not the offender.
It should be noted that when children, the elderly, or persons with disabilities commit high-rise littering, the authorities will review the matter on a case-by-case basis.
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