Cam­era crack­down on en­vi­ron­men­tal crimes

The Arran Banner - - News -

In their con­tin­ued crack­down on en­vi­ron­men­tal crimes such as fly-tip­ping and lit­ter­ing, North Ayr­shire Coun­cil is en­list­ing the help of mo­bile smart cam­eras that will be used to en­force lit­ter laws.

While pre­vi­ously of­fences could only be dealt with when com­mit­ted in the pres­ence of an en­force­ment of­fi­cer, the mo­bile smart cam­eras can sur­vey large ar­eas with­out the need to be present when en­vi­ron­men­tal crime is com­mit­ted.

The smart cam­eras will be si­t­u­ated in prob­lem ar­eas and will help en­force­ment of­fi­cers track down and po­ten­tially fine those caught dump­ing their rub­bish. These new camer- as are un­like tra­di­tional CCTV cam­eras as they are smaller and more dis­creet. They are also more flex­i­ble and easy to move from one lo­ca­tion to an­other which will give the en­vi­ron­men­tal en­force­ment team scope to move them reg­u­larly to en­com­pass a wider range of prob­lem ar­eas.

Smart cam­eras use wire­less tech­nol­ogy and high qual­ity footage is se­curely trans­mit­ted via a cloud­based plat­form. Footage is im­me­di­ately trans­mit­ted to a se­cure cloud ser­vice to be viewed on a web por­tal us­ing a smart­phone, tablet or PC.

As well as fly-tip­ping, it will al­low the team to po­ten­tially fine peo­ple caught lit­ter­ing or fail­ing to pick up after their dog.

The en­force­ment team, which was set up in 2016, al­ready use body cam­eras and use dash-cam­era footage which is sub­mit­ted by lo­cal res­i­dents if they cap­ture peo­ple throw­ing rub­bish from their cars.

Since the team’s cre­ation, en­vi­ron­men­tal crimes have re­duced con­sid­er­ably. There were 2,950 in­ci­dents of fly-tip­ping in 2016, drop­ping to 2,796 in 2017 and plum­met­ing to 1,548 in 2018 un­til Novem­ber 8 2018.

Coun­cil­lor Jim Mont­gomery said: ‘The team has had an amaz­ing im­pact since it was es­tab­lished nearly three years ago.

‘The fact fly-tip­ping has fallen by around 50 per cent is tes­ta­ment to the great work it does. Mem­bers of the team al­ready have body cam­eras and are helped out by dash cams.

‘This is just an­other tool for the team to erad­i­cate fly-tip­ping and make our com­mu­ni­ties cleaner.

‘They are much more ef­fec­tive than CCTV cam­eras.

‘We are sure the cam­eras will act as a de­ter­rent to peo­ple and if they don’t, then we can catch peo­ple that are show­ing a com­plete dis­re­gard to fel­low res­i­dents and com­mu­ni­ties.’

En­force­ment of­fi­cers can im­pose an £80 fine for dog foul­ing or lit­ter­ing and a £200 fine for fly tip­ping in the form of a fixed penalty.

01_B52lit­ter01

The coun­cil is tak­ing tough ac­tion on lit­ter.

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