Government Programme on Tackling Hygiene Black Spots enters stage of stepping up actions against shop front extension (with photo/video)
In the past month, with the concerted efforts of various departments, the work of tackling hygiene black spots has largely been progressing well. The departments took cleansing actions at 460 hygiene black spots, and carried out joint operations to remove abandoned vehicles at 45 public rear lanes. Figures for the departments' operations are at Annex.
Mr Cheuk said today (September 16) that in the first month of the programme the departments focused on tackling hygiene black spots, especially those in rear lanes deposited with a large amount of waste, as well as stepping up cleansing work and conducting inter-departmental joint operations to remove abandoned vehicles in rear lanes. In the second month of the programme, the Task Force has requested the departments to step up inspection and enforcement actions, in particular to combat hygiene black spots with illegal shop front extension leading to street obstruction, to resolve an environmental hygiene problem that has been plaguing the districts for years.
To tackle the problem of shops placing goods and objects in public places (including footpaths and carriageways) that affects environmental hygiene and obstructs pedestrian flow, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) currently strengthens co-operation with the Police to take joint operations in six districts, namely: Kwun Tong, Kowloon City, Tsuen Wan, Eastern, Sham Shui Po and Yuen Long. The Police would exercise the power under the Summary Offences Ordinance (Cap. 228) to require the shops concerned to remove the obstructions within a specified time. Otherwise, the FEHD would remove the items and may instigate prosecution after considering the evidence and case details. The Police can also apply to the court for forfeiting the unclaimed items.
Mr Cheuk said, "To effectively combat shops placing obstructions in public areas, the Sub-Task Force on 'Long-standing, Big and Difficult Problems' under the District Matters Co-ordination Task Force endorsed at today's meeting the gradual adoption of the above-mentioned enforcement mode in all 18 districts across Hong Kong starting from October. The FEHD and the Police will seize and take possession of those goods that are illegally placed. Compared to the previous practice of issuing Fixed Penalty Notices of $1,500 to persons who cause such obstructions, this enforcement arrangement carries a greater deterrent effect with a higher non-compliance cost for extending business areas illegally. It has proved to be effective in joint operations conducted in several districts, in deterring illegal and selfish behaviours of shop owners placing goods in public places and causing street obstruction.
"The Sub-Task Force is also actively reviewing the existing laws and looking into ways to strengthen the power of law enforcement officers and raising the penalties for the related offences, so that law enforcement officers will have adequate power to tackle shop front extension, and enhance the deterrent effect of the law.
"Tackling hygiene black spots cannot be achieved overnight, but requires perseverance and sustained efforts. The departments will continue to work together to clean up hygiene black spots in various districts. We also hope that the public will support the Government's efforts in improving environmental hygiene, comply with public health laws and together build a clean and beautiful Hong Kong ."
Ends/Friday, September 16, 2022
Issued at HKT 20:23
Issued at HKT 20:23
Audio / Video
DCS visits Aberdeen to inspect joint operation against shop front extension black spots