on Food and Environmental Hygiene
of Public Consultation on
New Penalties for Repeat Cleanliness Offenders
paper briefs Members on the results of the public consultation exercise
conducted between October and December 2003 on the proposed new
penalties for repeat cleanliness offenders.
Since the fixed penalty on cleanliness offences was increased
from $600 to $1,500 in June 2003, enforcement departments issued
over 15,000 fixed penalty notices as at end January 2004.
There were 143 repeat offenders, of which 125 committed offences
twice and 18 committed thrice or more.
In its report published in August 2003, Team Clean recommended,
as part of the wide-ranging measures to enhance the environmental
hygiene in Hong Kong, that the penalties for repeat cleanliness
offenders be stiffened by the introduction of a new prosecution
scheme as follows �V
a first-time offender of any of the four cleanliness offences
(namely littering, spitting, dog-fouling and unauthorized posting
of bills and posters) under the fixed penalty regime would be issued
a fixed penalty notice of $1,500;
if the offender commits a second offence within a period
of 24 months, the enforcement department will withdraw the fixed
penalty notice issued to the offender and replace it with a summons
and, at the Court hearing, apply to the Court for a penalty higher
than $1,500 and the award of a community service order.
The level and form of penalties will be left to the discretion
of the Court; and
the four cleanliness offences will be counted as one type
of offence under the scheme.
In other words, a person who has committed a spitting offence
and a dog-fouling offence will be treated as a repeat offender for
the purpose of the scheme.
At the meeting held on 23 October 2003, Members were informed
of the launch of a
public consultation exercise to gauge views from the public on whether
additional penalties should be imposed on repeat cleanliness offenders.
GATHERED DURING THE CONSULTATION EXERCISE
During the two-month public consultation, we received close
to 1,500 submissions from members of the public.
About 63.3% of these submissions agreed that the Administration
should withdraw the fixed penalty notice and apply to the Court
for a penalty higher than $1,500 for repeat cleanliness offences
committed within 24 months while 75.6% of them agreed that the Administration
should apply to the Court for a community service order in addition
to a penalty higher than $1,500.
Separately, we commissioned the following two opinion surveys
to gauge the views of the public on the proposal and the results
are quite similar to views collected during the public consultation
In a telephone survey on Team Clean
proposals conducted in early November 2003, 76.8% of the 1,210 respondents
either supported or strongly supported the proposal to increase
the penalty for repeat cleanliness offenders to more than $1,500. 81.9% of them also either supported or strongly supported the
imposition of community service orders in addition to a fixed
penalty against repeat cleanliness offenders to enhance deterrence
and serve probation purpose.
In an on-street survey conducted in mid-November 2003, 79.3%
of the 2,010 respondents supported applying to the Court for a penalty
higher than $1,500 for repeat cleanliness offences committed within
24 months whereas 72% of the respondents supported applying to the
Court for a community service order in addition to a penalty
higher than $1,500.
In the light of the majority public support for the proposal
of imposing a community service order and a penalty higher
than $1,500 for repeat cleanliness offences committed within 24
months, we will proceed to draw up detailed legislative proposals
with a view to effecting the implementation of the new prosecution
scheme as described in paragraph
3 in 2004-05 tentatively.
Members are invited to note the results of the public consultation.
Welfare and Food Bureau
and Environmental Hygiene Department