An approval from the Housing and Development Board also known as HDB, in short, is needed for the installations of CCTV (closed-circuit television) cameras in the residential premises of HDB flats, is what the law says.
In a recent development, Singaporeans came up with mixed reactions, with a few of them caught mentioning that it is acceptable to them, to the installation of a CCTV camera outside the HDB flat. In Jimmy Lin words, a resident of the HDB flat, “You will never know when you need the footage from your neighbour to help you in case of theft or other matters”, and William Liew says, “It was like having free security surveillance”, flagging green signal to this installation while a few many didn’t look happy with this.
From what is heard of, a question- Could you accept a neighbour monitoring your daily block through the installation of a CCTV camera outside their home?”- which was shared in a Facebook group called Complaint Singapore on January 12, 2021, was sought-after by the many, as reported by Channel News Asia (CNA). Please do stay cautious when buying properties due to the fact that property prices are very high now.
If we were to look into the laws then an act under the Community Dispute Resolution states that no person should cause unreasonable interference with his neighbour’s enjoyment or use of place of residence of that neighbour and under the unreasonable interference is mentioned “surveillance”. So, it simply means that under the law, a person cannot install a CCTV camera, even if it is in his/her residence, in HDB flats until and unless it has been approved by HDB. And the act also strengthens an individual for filing civil proceedings if an individual is found defying the act.
Additionally, the town council is responsible for the use of common areas including that outside of the flats. Please see Midwood for more details on the development.
In a statement to CNA, Bishan-Toa Payoh, a spokesperson to Town Council, said: “BTPTC does not allow installation of CCTVs by residents outside their homes. Residents with special reasons for installing CCTVs must obtain HDB’s approval before installation”.
However, a daily increase in CCTV sellings reveals otherwise, suggesting an upswing in the number of people purchasing CCTV cameras for their usage outside their dwellings in recent years.
Choicecycle CCTV owner Eric Cheong said that they sell “hundreds of pieces” a month and also that they have observed a 20℅ increase in CCTV cameras sell.
Derek Peh, a sales manager by profession at I-Secure Solution, was caught mentioning that the reason behind the installation of CCTV cameras is theft, harassment and other feuds. He also shared that around 100 to 200 pieces of CCTV camera are sold out every month for residential purposes.
In a quotation by CNA, Tan Yi Chong was found stating, “Normally before they install, they already make a police report and seek approval from the town council”. Tan handles business development for Surveillance Zone Singapore.