Officers did not wrongly issue fine to man caught throwing cigarette butt in Yishun: NEA

A man claimed in the video that NEA officers had erroneously taken action against an offender.
A man claimed in the video that NEA officers had erroneously taken action against an offender.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/ WILFRED ONG

SINGAPORE - A viral video showing officers purportedly issuing a ticket to an offender for throwing a cigarette butt into a dustbin does not show the incident in full, the National Environment Agency (NEA) has said.

The incident on April 19 in the vicinity of Northpoint City in Yishun drew interest online, after a man claimed in the video that officers had erroneously taken action against an offender.

However, NEA issued a clarification on its website last Saturday (April 21) saying that investigations showed that the man was first caught by an enforcement officer for an earlier offence.

The cigarette butt that was supposedly thrown into the bin was the second one he smoked, NEA added.

In the video posted by Facebook user Wilfred Ong, a man dressed in a grey T-shirt could be seen arguing with a plainclothes NEA officer.

Another man filming the video could be heard saying: "Just now NEA threatened me, because he wanted to fine a guy for throwing the cigarette in the dustbin."

On its website, NEA said that one of its officers had witnessed the littering act and approached the offender, before identifying himself with his NEA authority card.

However, when the officer requested for the man's particulars, he refused to cooperate.

The man was told that police assistance would be needed if he remained uncooperative.

According to NEA, a third person then incited other members of the public to record the incident and post it on social media.

The person also asked for the NEA officer's name and authority card, but was told that the officer would only engage with the offender.

Police officers later arrived on site and a ticket was issued to the offender for the littering offence.

NEA said that officers are deployed daily at various locations islandwide to ensure the public's compliance with public health regulations.

"NEA officers should not be obstructed from carrying out their duties when they enforce against those who flout these laws without consideration for others ," the agency said.

NEA added that it takes a serious view of those who verbally or physically abuse its officers and will not hesitate to take action against them.