Spotlight on environmental crime as Council continue crackdown
Posted on 21 Dec 2018
NEW mobile smart cameras will soon be in place across North Ayrshire as the Council step up its efforts to stop people committing environmental crimes such as fly-tipping and littering.
These smart cameras will be situated in problem areas and will help enforcement officers track down and potentially fine those caught dumping their rubbish.
The project forms part of the Council’s Transformation Programme to find methods, using new technology, to streamline processes and better support Services with problems and issues they face daily.
These new pieces of kit 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 cloud-based 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 have only been set up since 2016 and they 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 teams creation, environmental crimes have reduced considerably. There were 2950 incidents of fly-tipping in 2016, dropping to 2796 in 2017 and plummeting to 1548 in 2018 (until 8th November 2018).
Councillor Jim Montgomery, Cabinet Member for Place, said: “The team have had an amazing impact since they were established nearly three years ago. The fact that fly-tipping has fallen by around 50% is testament to the great work they do.
“They already have body cameras and are helped out by dash cams, and this is just another tool for them to eradicate fly-tipping and make our communities cleaner. They are much more effective than CCTV cameras.
“We are sure that 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.”
Where an offence is witnessed, the Enforcement Officers can impose an £80 fine for dog fouling or littering and £200 fine for fly tipping in the form of a fixed penalty.
This method of enforcement works only where the offence is committed in the presence of an Enforcement Officer, whereas mobile smart cameras would survey large areas without the need to physically be present when environmental crime is committed.