Govt tackles illegal shop extensions

October 3, 2022

The Food & Environmental Hygiene Department and Police will start stringent enforcement actions in all districts across the city to step up tackling the problems of illegal shop extension and obstruction from today.


The department made the announcement and explained that to address such a problem, it, along with Police, launched a trial scheme since September last year in Eastern, Kowloon City, Kwun Tong, Sham Shui Po, Tsuen Wan and Yuen Long districts.


Under the scheme, apart from stepping up efforts to prosecute offenders, Police will exercise their statutory powers in removing obstructions and require the goods owners to remove the obstructed articles within a specified time.


If the goods owners fail to observe the directions given by Police, the department will arrange to remove the obstructions which were placed in public places including the roadside and carriageways.


In addition to launching over 316 joint operations, a total of 1,537 fixed penalty notices or summonses against obstruction in public places and for cleanliness offences were issued, the department pointed out.


Moreover, 342 warning notices, which required the owners of the articles to remove the obstruction within the specified time, were also issued.


Among these, 65 warning notices had yet to be complied with upon expiry of the specified time limits. As a result, the department removed about 16.8 tonnes of goods or articles involved, most of which have been ordered by the court to be confiscated.


The Government noted that in analysing the figures of complaints and enforcement, the views received from local stakeholders and observations on the actual situation in the six districts, is that the trial scheme has been effective in tackling the problem of shop front extensions as well as improving the cityscape.


Also recognising that the joint enforcement mode of the department and Police could effectively combat the problem of shop front extensions, the District Matters Co-ordination Task Force has approved that starting from this month, the relevant enforcement mode will be gradually adopted in all districts across Hong Kong.


The Government urged shop operators and other stakeholders not to extend business areas illegally by placing goods or articles in public places or on carriageways causing obstructions to pedestrian and vehicular flow.


The task force earlier said that in entering the second month of the Government Programme on Tackling Hygiene Black Spots, the main focus is to combat hygiene black spots with illegal shop front extensions leading to street obstruction.

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