CCTV cameras may reduce loan-sharking activities

The Singapore Police Force (SPF) must be praised for conducting successful islandwide raids to deter criminal activities (Police crush organised criminal group; Oct 26).

It is heartening to note that the Organised Crime Act has played a significant role in allowing enforcement agencies to target organised crime groups.

This Act complements the existing Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act, which has existed since 1955, to maintain public safety.

Both these Acts help to ensure Singapore's safety and security.

Another effective means of criminal deterrence is the installation of closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in all housing estates and other strategic locations.

The initial fear among certain quarters that installing CCTV cameras would be tantamount to an intrusion of privacy is unfounded, as the benefits far outweigh any drawbacks.

Statistics have shown a reduction in crimes at housing estates.

Residents are also concerned about other criminal activities, such as illegal moneylending and loan sharking.

The loan shark runners will set fire to the debtors' doors and even those of innocent neighbours if debts are not settled.

Arresting and punishing the runners may deter them, but it is more important to nab the kingpins.

I am confident that with CCTV cameras in all housing estates, the police will now be able to minimise this menace.

Perhaps the SPF could also take the lead in conducting joint sting operations with other agencies such as the Central Narcotics Bureau, Ministry of Manpower, Immigration and Checkpoints Authority and the Singapore Customs against those who violate the law.

Andrew Seow Chwee Guan

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 30, 2018, with the headline CCTV cameras may reduce loan-sharking activities. Subscribe