Fewer lift vandalism cases, thanks to lift surveillance systems

In August last year, a man was arrested after allegedly smashing the glass panels of lift doors in Eunos Crescent (right). The 15 PAP town councils said on Wednesday that the number of lift vandalism cases fell from 342 in 2017 to 90 over the past 12
In August last year, a man was arrested after allegedly smashing the glass panels of lift doors in Eunos Crescent (right). The 15 PAP town councils said on Wednesday that the number of lift vandalism cases fell from 342 in 2017 to 90 over the past 12 months.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

Lift vandalism cases in Housing Board estates under the 15 People's Action Party (PAP) town councils dropped by almost four times as more lift surveillance systems were installed in HDB blocks.

The 15 town councils said in a joint statement on Wednesday that the number of such cases fell from 342 in 2017 to 90 over the past 12 months. They quoted statistics from Surbana Jurong, a consultancy firm that provides real-time monitoring of lift operations to town councils.

Since a PAP Lift Taskforce was formed in 2016, several initiatives have been implemented to minimise the downtime of lifts and improve their efficiency.

These include the installation of lift surveillance systems for all HDB blocks, collaboration with the HDB to curb the misuse of lifts by errant renovation contractors for new HDB developments, and the Lift Enhancement Programme, which helps town councils modernise existing HDB lifts.

Of the 23,000 HDB lifts under the PAP town councils, 97 per cent are now equipped with surveillance systems, and the systems will be installed in the remaining lifts by February next year.

The Workers' Party-run Aljunied-Hougang Town Council told The Straits Times that 97.5 per cent of its 1,800 lifts are now equipped with the surveillance systems.

Causes of lift breakdowns include vandalism, misuse such as jamming lift doors to force them to stay open, damaged lift buttons, and movers and contractors damaging lift doors and ceilings.

The lift surveillance systems have deterred such behaviour and helped town councils to nab culprits, Dr Teo Ho Pin, coordinating chairman of the PAP town councils, said in their joint statement.

"The town councils will also continue to educate residents by putting up educational posters to raise awareness on the proper use of lifts," he said.

 

More than 18,000 lifts throughout the island are being upgraded with modern safety features under a $450 million Lift Enhancement Programme funded by the HDB.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 15, 2019, with the headline 'Fewer lift vandalism cases, thanks to lift surveillance systems'. Print Edition | Subscribe