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Tune in to New TV Show, Broadcast Live from Elevators

July 19, 1994

SINGAPORE (AP) _ The residents of 21 apartment buildings can watch their neighbors ride the elevator on closed-circuit TV as part of a government experiment to prevent crime and vandalism.

But in a country with one of the lowest crime rates in the world, the cameras - first installed in 1992 - rarely catch mischief in progress.

″My parents find it funny to watch the neighbors scratching themselves,″ Koh Tak Yan, 12, was quoted as saying in the Straits Times newspaper Tuesday. ″Sometimes children make faces at the camera.″

The cameras have prevented people from urinating in elevators.

″This (elevator) has no urine smell and it is definitely cleaner″ than those in non-monitored buildings, said Chung Hong Kim.

There are no reliable figures for elevator crimes, but about 175 offenses per 10,000 population were reported in 1993, including 103 cases of theft and 11 cases of housebreaking, according to the latest government figures.

Authorities attribute the low crime rate to stiff penalties, including jail and caning.

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