Get tough with those who do not return trolleys

The FairPrice supermarket chain has rolled out various measures - from security efforts to awareness campaigns ("FairPrice rolls out 'trolley enforcement officers'"; last Saturday) - yet supermarket trolleys continue to be wheeled away and abandoned by errant shoppers.

How difficult is it for shoppers to return their trolleys to one of the many return bays around the supermarket and mall?

Not returning the trolleys is not just being irresponsible, but it is also an act of theft. Why should it be condoned?

I believe most people would be in favour of tougher and more active sanctions against those who wilfully wheel trolleys away.

However, such an endeavour should be backed by more information revealing the extent of the problem: the total number of trolleys lost and retrieved, the additional costs involved, and the police reports made in the past and how effective they have been.

Good behaviours that we value and are trying to shape can be encouraged, but there should be little to no tolerance for clear wrongdoing, especially recurrent ones.

Kwan Jin Yao

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 06, 2016, with the headline 'Get tough with those who do not return trolleys'. Print Edition | Subscribe